Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Russia’s food safety watchdog denies mass fusarium infection of grain

Russia’s food safety watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor went on TV to deny mass poisoning of Russian grain.

The watchdog reported there have been 33 cases of grain contamination this season - most of them in the Caucasus and Southern Federal District.

The state standard is no more than 1% fusarium contamination and the Centre for Grain Quality Assessment say the grain they have investigated fits in with this figure.

In Russia, fusarium poisoning through eating products made with contaminated grain is called "drunk bread" as spoiled food causes symptoms similar to intoxication but can lead to more serious intestinal and gastric disorders.

Rosselkhoznadzor say the responsibility for poisoning by infected grain which hasn't happened is the fault of the public anyway by quoting doctors who say consumer ignorance is more dangerous than infected grain because citizens tend to remove mould from bread and then “quietly eat them”.

There might be a reason why citizens cut off the mould and eat the rest of the loaf.

Meanwhile, the Russian Centre for Grain Quality reported to the Russian Federation Council on the quality of the Russian 2016 wheat crop.

The volume of food quality wheat (Classes 3 and 4) reached a record level of 51mmt, or 71% of the total wheat crop.

However, both the total volume and the percentage share of wheat Class 3 to total wheat production in 2016 was at the lowest level in the last five years: 16mmt, or approximately 22% of the total wheat crop.

Furthermore, assuming Class 3 and better quality Class 4 are the pool from which exported milling wheat is sourced, then although 2016 was a large crop the total quantity of export grade wheat is almost the same as the previous year.