BfR issues statement on antimicrobial-resistant bacteria

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Random samples taken by the BUND environment and nature protection organisation have created a stir. ESBL-producing bacteria were found in 10 of 20 meat samples purchased; two samples were contaminated with MRSA pathogens.

"The detection of such resistant bacteria on broiler meat does not constitute a new insight," explains Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

In 2009 the BfR had analysed the resistance situation for zoonotic pathogens and commensal bacteria as part of its zoonosis monitoring programme. 22.3% of the samples of broiler meat contained bacteria suspected to be MRSA. However, such bacteria were also detected on turkey meat, pork and in faecal samples of veal calves.

The bacteria on the meat predominantly originate from livestock production, the BfR has confirmed. The competent authorities of the states (Laender) have been finding MRSA and, increasingly, ESBL-forming E. coli and salmonella in livestock on farms for some years now. During slaughter, these bacteria can be transferred from the animal to the meat.

The BfR welcomes a package of measures which was presented by Federal Minister Aigner and recommends that the use of antimicrobials in animal production be critically reviewed, especially with regard to antimicrobials that have special significance for human medicine.

Animal husbandry and management must be improved in such a way that the animals remain healthy, so that treatment is not required in the first place. According to the Institute, the slaughter process must be improved in a way which ensures that the transfer of bacteria from animals to food is further reduced.
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