Breastfeeding may be considered as a risk factor for aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) exposure in early infancy. Hence, AFM1 levels in maternal breast milk (MBM) and the correlation between moldy cheese consumption of lactating mothers and infant exposure to AFM1 were investigated in this study. MBM samples from 73 lactating women randomly selected in hospitals located in Eastern Turkey were analysed for the presence of AFM1 using competitive ELISA. Out of 73 lactating mothers, 44 of them had the habit of cheese consumption (at least once a week), while remaining 29 had no such habit. AFM1 was detected in MBM of 18 out of 73 samples (24.6%); 12 MBM of 44 lactating mothers with moldy cheese consumption habit (27.2%) and 6 MBM of 29 mothers with no such habit (20.6%) with the range of 1.3-6.0 ng/l. None of the samples exceeded the limit set by EU and Turkish legislations. Moldy cheese consumption habit of lactating mothers exhibited no significant correlation with the presence of AFM1 in their milk (p > 0.05). The results indicated that the relative risk of infant AFM1 exposure via MBM of moldy cheese consuming mother was not higher than MBM of mothers with no such habit. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.