Under a multicentre study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research, 2,074 samples of maize were collected from rural and urban areas of 11 states representing different geographical regions of the country. These samples were analysed for aflatoxin B1 using the AOAC method. Analytical quality assurance between various participating laboratories was ensured through analysis of check-samples. About 26% of maize samples collected from 11 states exceeded the permissible Indian regulatory limit of 30 micrograms kg-1. No statistically significant difference in percentage of samples contaminated (> 30 micrograms kg-1) was observed between pooled rural (27.8%) and urban (23.7%) data. The maximum level of contamination of 666 micrograms kg-1 was observed in the state of Haryana. The median level of < 5 micrograms kg-1 was observed in the states of Gujarat, Haryana, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In all other states studied, the median level was found to vary between 10 and 35 micrograms kg-1.