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New publication allays manufacturers’ concerns over ochratoxin A in coffee


A new article by ToxStrategies authors (available from the Journal of Food Science online ahead of print) looks at the potential for the naturally occurring mycotoxin ochratoxin A (OTA) in coffee to produce adverse effects in consumers through the lens of a food safety plan. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) names OTA among the listed chemical hazards that should be considered as part of a food safety plan, and animal studies have shown kidney toxicity, in particular, to rodents given high doses of it. The study by Melissa Heintz, Candace Doepker, Daniele Wikoff, and Scott Hawks is intended to assist food manufacturers by documenting best current practices to mitigate OTA in the context of its potential presence in coffee products, as well as the possible associated risk. Studying the peer-reviewed literature, food recall databases, and authoritative reviews, the researchers concluded that good agricultural practices and historical precedent indicate that no additional preventive controls are warranted for U.S. coffee manufacturers, based on low severity and likelihood of risk.