Assessment of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in relation to Mycotoxin Contamination in Tanzania

  • Chacha Nyangi Mbeya University of Science and Technology
  • Prisca Siyame Mbeya University of Science and Technology
  • Zaharan Hussein, PhD Tanzania Commission for Universities
Keywords: Mycotoxins, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice, Assessment, Tanzania
Share Article:


This study assessed the knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) of the population in three districts in Tanzania on issues related to mycotoxin contamination and exposure. The study employed a cross-sectional design. Data were collected using a questionnaire survey, which was administered to gather quantitative data in 180 randomly selected households in three districts of Tanzania. In addition, qualitative data were collected using key informant interviews (KIIs) of 12 purposively selected respondents and 6 focus group discussions (FGDs) of six to twelve participants. Quantitative data were analysed in SPSS version 20 for Windows 180 using descriptive statistics and a chi-square test. While the qualitative data were analysed in ATLAS.ti 8 for Windows. A majority of respondents (25.1%) had never heard of mycotoxins, 20.1% were not aware of how mycotoxins are acquired, and none (0%) of the respondents claimed to never become sick after eating moulded/contaminated crops. The majority, 14.5% and 2.8% of the respondents, were not aware of prevention measures for animals and humans from mycotoxins, respectively. Only 8.9% agree that they are at risk of getting mycotoxins, 14% agree that it is safe to eat contaminated food, and 52.5% do not discard the mycotoxins contaminated food. The majority, 81.6%, dry their crops on top of the floor or bare grounds, almost 42.5% do not sort their crops before storage, and 28.5% agree to consume the defective/sorted crops. Therefore, it is recommended that health education interventions to create awareness among the public should be a priority and should be integrated into the existing control strategies


Download data is not yet available.


Abdel-Wahhab, M.A., Abdel-Galil, M., & El-Lithey, M. (2005). Melatonin counteracts oxidative stress in rats fed an ochratoxin-contaminated diet. J. Pineal Res 38: 130–135.

Abel, S. & Gelderblom, W.C.A. (1998). Oxidative damage and fumonisin Bl-induced toxicity in primary rat hepatocytes and rat liver in vivo. Toxicology 131: 121-131.

Atukwase, A., Kaaya, A.N., & Muyanja, C. (2009). Factors associated with fumonisin contamination of maize in Uganda. Journal of Science and Food Agriculture 89: 2393 –2398

Azaman, N. N. M., Kamarulzaman, N. H., Shamsudin, M. N., & Selamat, J. (2016). Stakeholders’ knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) towards aflatoxins contamination in peanut-based products. Food Control 70: 249-256.

Bbosa, G. S., Kitya, D., Lubega, A., Ogwal-Okeng, J., Anokbonggo, W. W., & Kyegombe, D. B. (2013). Review of the Biological and Health Effects of Aflatoxins on Body Organs and Body Systems. In: aflatoxins – recent advances and future. (Edited by mehdi razzaghi-abyaneh.) InTech Janeza Trdine 9, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia. pp. 249 – 274.

Becker-Algeri, T.A., Castagnaro, D., de Bortoli, K., de Souza, C., Drunkler, D.A., & Badiale-Furlong, E. (2016). Mycotoxins in Bovine Milk and Dairy Products: A Review. Journal of Food Science, 81: 544-552.

Biru, T. G. & Gemta, Z. B. (2022). Knowledge, Attitude, and Management Practices of Stakeholders towards Fungal Invasion and Mycotoxin Contamination of Wheat and Maize in Ethiopia, East African Journal of Sciences, 16(2): 171-186.

CDC. (2013). National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System in Men Who Have Sex with Men - Round 4: Formative Research Manual.

De Moraes, M.H.P. & Luchese, R.H. (2003). Ochratoxin A on Green Coffee: Influence of Harvest and Drying Processing Procedures. J. Agric. Food Chem, 51 (19): 5824–5828

EAC Policy Brief on Aflatoxin Prevention and Control. (2018). Policy Brief No. 8, Disposal and Alternative Use of Aflatoxin Contaminated Food.

EFSA. (2017a). Opinion the Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM Panel) on the risks for animal health related CRITICAL REVIEWS IN FOOD SCIENCE AND NUTRITION 2785 to the presence of zearalenone and its modified forms in feed. European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal 15:4851

EFSA. (2017b). Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM Panel) on the risks to human and animal health related to the presence of deoxynivalenol and its acetylated and modified forms in food and feed. European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal 15:4718.

EFSA. (2018). Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM Panel) on the appropriateness to set a group health-based guidance value for fumonisins and their modified forms. European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal 16:5172.

Fisher, A.A., Laing, J.E., Stoeckel, J.E., & Townsend, J. (1991). Handbook for family planning operations research design. 2nd ed. TT.

Flores-Flores, M.E., Lizarraga, E., de Cerain, A.L., & Gonzalez-Pe, E. (2015). Presence of mycotoxins in animal milk: A review, Food Control 53:163-176

Fusi, E., Rebucci, R., Pecorini, C., Campagnoli, A., Pinotti, L., Saccone, F., Cheli, F., Purup, S., Sejrsen, K., & Baldi, A. (2010). Alpha-tocopherol counteracts the cytotoxicity induced by ochratoxin A in primary porcine fibroblasts, Toxins 2:1265–1278.

García-Cela, E., Ramos, A.J., Sanchis, V., & Marin, S. (2012). Emerging risk management metrics in food safety: FSO, PO. How do they apply to the mycotoxin hazard? Food Control, 25: 797-808.

Ghazi, T., Arumugam, T., Foolchand, A., Anil A., & Chuturgoon, A.A. (2020). The Impact of Natural Dietary Compounds and Food-Borne Mycotoxins on DNA Methylation and Cancer. Cells, 9:2004; doi:10.3390/cells9092004.

Gill, L.S., Obi, J.U., & Husaini, S.W.H. (1983). Mycoflora of some Nigerian leguminous seeds. Legume Research, 6: 29 – 33.

Hassen, W., Ayed-Boussema, I., Oscoz, A.A., De Cerain Lopez, A. & Bacha, H. (2007). The role of oxidative stress in zearalenone-mediated toxicity in Hep G2 cells: oxidative DNA damage, gluthatione depletion and stress proteins induction. Toxicology, 232: 294–302.

Helgason, B. L., Walley, F.L. & James J. Germida, J.G. (2009). Fungal and Bacterial Abundance in Long-Term No-Till and Intensive-Till Soils of the Northern Great Plains. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J, 73:120-127.

Hell, K., Fandohan, P., Bandyopadhyay, R., Kiewnick, S., Sikora, R., & Cotty, P. J. (2008). Pre- and post-harvest management of aflatoxin in maize: An African perspective. Mycotoxins: Detection Methods, Management, Public Health and Agricultural Trade, May 2014, 209–218.

Hussein, H.S., Brasel, J.M. & (2001). Toxicity, metabolism, and impact of mycotoxins on humans and animals. Toxicology, 167: 101–134.

IARC. (1993). International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Some Naturally Occurring Substances: Food Items and Constituents, Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines and Mycotoxins. 56th edition. IARC Press, Lyon.

IARC. 2002. IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Some traditional herbal medicines, some mycotoxins, naphthalene and styrene. International Agency for Research on Cancer, Volume 82, Lyon, France

IARC. 2015. Mycotoxin control in low- and middle-income countries. IARC Working Group report no. 9, eds. C. P. Wild, J. D. Miller, and J. D. Groopman. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer.

IARCWHO. (2024). Predict the future cancer incidence and mortality burden worldwide up intil 2040. Global cancer observatory

Ityo, I.T., Nyinoh, I. W., Kukwa, R. E. & Okoh, M. E. (2021). Evaluation of Raw Groundnuts from Makurdi Markets in Nigeria for Aflatoxin B1, European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, 13(3): 102-112.

Janusauskaite, D., Kadziene, G. & Auskalniene, O. (2013). The effect of tillage system on soil Microbiota in relation to soil structure. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 22(5): 1387-1391.

JECFA. 2011. Safety evaluation of certain contaminants in food. Prepared by the Seventy-second meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee in Food Additives (JECFA). JECFA Monographs. WHO Food Additives Series No. 63, FAO JECFA Monographs 8. World Health Organization, Geneva, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.

JECFA. 2017. Evaluation of certain contaminants in food. Eighty-third report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Health Organization, WHO Technical Report Series 1002, World Health Organization, Geneva.

Jolly, P.E., Jiang, Y.E., William, O., Awuah, R.T., Appawu, J., Nnedu, O., Stiles, J.K., Wang, J.S., Adjei, O., Jolly, C.M., & William, J.H. (2007) Association between aflatoxin exposure and health characteristics, liver function, hepatitis and malaria infections in Ghanaian. J Nutr Environ Med, 16:1–16

Kaaya, A.N., Kyamuhangire, W., Kyamanywa, S. (2006). Factors affecting aflatoxin contamination of harvested maize in the three climatic zones of Uganda. Journal of Applied Science 11: 2401 – 2407.

Kabak, B. (2009). The fate of mycotoxins during thermal food processing. J Sci Food Agric, 89: 549–554

Kamala, A., Kimanya, M., Haesaert, G., Tiisekwa, B., Madege, R., Degraeve, S., Cyprian, C., De Meulenaer, B. (2016). Local post-harvest practices associated with aflatoxin and fumonisin contamination of maize in three agro ecological zones of Tanzania, Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A: https://10.1080/19440049.2016.1138546.

Kimanya, Martin E., De Meulenaer, B., Roberfroid, D., Lachat, C., & Kolsteren, P. (2010). Fumonisin exposure through maize in complementary foods is inversely associated with linear growth of infants in Tanzania. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 54(11), 1659–1667.

Lewis, L., Onsongo, M., Njapau, H., Schurz-Rogers, H., Luber, G., Kieszak, S., Nyamongo, J., Backer, L., Dahiye, A. M., Misore, A., DeCock, K., Rubin, C., Nyikal, J., Njuguna, C., Langat, A., Kilei, I. K., Tetteh, C., Likimani, S., Oduor, J., & Gupta, N. (2005). Aflatoxin contamination of commercial maize products during an outbreak of acute aflatoxicosis in eastern and central Kenya. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113(12), 1763–1767.

Marasas, W. F. O., Gelderblom, W. C. A., Shephard, G. S., & Vismer, H. F. (2008). Mycotoxins: A global problem. In Mycotoxins: Detection Methods, Management, Public Health and Agricultural Trade (Issue May).

Matumba L, Sulyok, M., Monjerezi, M., Biswick T., & Krska R (2014) Fungal metabolites diversity in maize and associated human dietary exposures relate to micro-climatic patterns in Malawi. World Mycotoxin J, 8:269–282.

Matumba, L., Monjerezi, M., Kankwamba, H., Njoroge, S. M. C., Ndilowe, P., Kabuli, H., Kambewa, D., & Njapau, H. (2016). Knowledge, attitude, and practices concerning presence of molds in foods among members of the general public in Malawi, Mycotoxin Res, 32:27–36. https://10.1007/s12550-015-0237-3.

Milani, J.M. (2013). Ecological conditions affecting mycotoxin production in cereals: a review. Vet Med 58(8):405–11.

Minervini, F., Giannoccaro, A., Cavallini, A., & Visconti, A. (2005). Investigations on cellular proliferation induced by zearalenone and its derivatives in relation to the estrogenic parameters. Toxicology Letters, 159(3): 272–283.

Mwihia, J.T,, Straetmans M, Ibrahim A, Njau J, Muhenje O, Guracha A, Gikundi S, Mutonga D, Tetteh C, Likimani S, Breiman, R.F., Njenga, K. & Lewis, L. (2008). Aflatoxin Levels in Locally Grown Maize from Makueni District, Kenya. East Afr. Med. J, 85(7): 311–317.

Naeem, N., Raza, S., Mubeen, H., Siddiqui, S. A., & Khokhar, R. (2018). Food safety knowledge, attitude, and food handling practices of household women in Lahore. Journal of food safety,

Nathanail, A. V., Syvahuoko, J., Malachova, A., Jestoi, M., Varga, E., Michlmayr, H., Adam, G., Sievilainen, E., Berthiller, F., & Peltonen, K. (2015). Simultaneous determination of major type A and B trichothecenes, zearalenone and certain modified metabolites in Finnish cereal grains with a novel liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric method. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 407 (16):4745–55.

Nyangi, C., Beed, F., Mugula, J. K., Boni, S., Koyano, E., Mahuku, G., Sulyok, M., & Bekunda, M. (2016). Assessment of pre-harvest aflatoxin and fumonisin contamination of maize in Babati district, Tanzania. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 16(3).

Okoth, S. A., and Kola, M. A. (2012). Market samples as a source of chronic aflatoxin exposure in Kenya. African Journal of Health Sciences, 20(1), 56–61.

Park, D.L. (2002). Effect of processing on aflatoxin. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 504: 173–179.

Pfohl-Leszkowicz, A., & Manderville, R.A. (2007). Ochratoxin A: an overview on toxicity 600 and carcinogenicity in animals and humans. Mol. Nutr Food Res, 51: (61–99).

Raters, M., & Matissek, R. (2008). Thermal stability of aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A. Mycotoxin Research, 24 (3): 130-134.

Richard, E., Heutte, N., Sage, L., Pottier, D., Bouchart, V., Lebailly, P. & Garon, D. (2007). `Toxigenic fungi and mycotoxins in mature corn silage. Food and Chemical Toxicology 45: 2420–2425.

Sasamalo, M., Mugula, J. & Nyangi, C. (2018). Aflatoxins Contamination of Maize at Harvest and during Storage in Dodoma, Tanzania. International Journal of Innovative Research & Development, 7(6), 10–15.

Smith, L. E., Prendergast, A. J., Turner, P. C., Mbuya, M. N., Mutasa, K., Kembo, G., et al. (2015). The potential role of mycotoxins as a contributor to stunting in the SHINE trial. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 61(Suppl 7), S733–S737.

Tatay, E., Meca, G., Font, G. & Ruiz, M.J. (2013). Interactive effects of zearalenone and its metabolites on cytotoxicity and metabolisation in ovarian CHO-K1 cells. Toxicol. In Vitro, 28: 95–103.

United Republic of Tanzania-URT. (2008). Agricultural Marketing Policy, Ministry of Industry Trade and Marketing.

Vanheule, A., Audenaert, K., De Boevre, M., Landschoot, S., Bekaert, B., Munaut, F., Eeckhout, M., Hofte, M., De Saeger, S., & Haesaert, G. (2014). The compositional mosaic of Fusarium species and their mycotoxins in unprocessed cereals, food and feed products in Belgium. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 181:28–36.

Vismer, H.F., Shephard, G.S., Rheeder, J.P., Westhuizen, L. & Bandyopadhyay, R. (2015). Relative severity of fumonisin contamination of cereal crops in West Africa. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A.

Wagacha, J. M., & Muthomi, J. W. (2008). Mycotoxin problem in Africa: Current status, implications to food safety and health and possible management strategies. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 124(1), 1– 12.

Zain, M. E. (2011). Impact of mycotoxins on humans and animals. Journal of Saudi Chemical Society, 15(2), 129–144.

16 March, 2024
How to Cite
Nyangi, C., Siyame, P., & Hussein, Z. (2024). Assessment of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in relation to Mycotoxin Contamination in Tanzania. East African Journal of Health and Science, 7(1), 205-220.