NARMS reports show decrease in resistant bacteria on meat

NARMS reports show decrease in resistant bacteria on meat

Posted April 17, 2015

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week released two reports that measure antimicrobial resistance in certain bacteria found on raw meat and poultry collected through the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS).

The annual NARMS reports focus on foodborne pathogens that display resistance to antibiotics that are considered important in human medicine, as well as those that are multi-drug resistant (described as resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics).

The 2012 Retail Meat Report summarizes key findings in antimicrobial resistance related to raw chicken, ground turkey, ground beef and pork chops collected at retail stores. The 2013 Retail Meat Interim Report contains data from 2013, focusing only on Salmonella, a pathogen of concern in food-borne disease outbreaks.

Low levels of bacteria were found on meat, according to the reports. Where bacteria were found, few of them were resistant to any antibiotics. They also show a trend of decreasing resistant bacteria.

Both reports cover time periods that are prior to FDA’s publication in December 2013 of Guidance for Industry #213, which announced a specific strategy for animal drug companies to voluntarily revise the labeling of their medically important antimicrobials used in the feed and water of food-producing animals to withdraw approved production uses and place the remaining therapeutic uses of these products under veterinary oversight by December 2016.