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Reassuring Findings on Antibiotic Resistance from Chicken

16 January 2009

AUSTRALIA - Tha Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) has welcomed the findings of a Department of Health Survey on antibiotic resistance in products of animal origin.

ACMF says that it welcomes the release of a study regarding antibiotic resistance of bacteria of food origin. The study was undertaken on behalf of the Australian Department of Health and the Ageing and tested chicken, beef, pork and lettuce at retail level.

Dr Andreas Dubs, Executive Director of ACMF, noted that the study provides reassurance to health professionals as well as to consumers that food in Australia is of a high safety standard by international standards and is an unlikely source of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Resistance to those antibiotics used to treat disease in humans is even more unlikely. "This in essence means that there is little likelihood of antibiotic resistant microbes of food origin resulting in disease in humans that would not respond readily to common antibiotics used in human medicine," Dr Dubs explained.

This is good news for our industry and for consumers. The survey supports Australia's rigorous approach to controlling the amounts and types of antibiotics used in our food animal industries, which is an important factor that helps prevent the development and spread of resistant bacteria.

Dr Dubs emphasised that the survey shows that Australian livestock industries, including the chicken meat industry, are achieving good outcomes through the responsible use of antibiotics combined with a range of other animal husbandry measures. The chicken meat industry continues to explore all avenues to reduce the use of antibiotics and to minimize the level of microbial contamination during farming as well as during processing.

ACMF is also actively promoting good food handling and preparation in the home since the final control over food safety remains with the cook. If food is handled and cooked properly, any bacteria whether antibiotic resistant or not will be destroyed and rendered harmless.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here and scrolling down to Monitoring and Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance in Food.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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