The development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a public health concern worldwide. It is a complex issue driven by a variety of interconnected factors enabling microorganisms to withstand antimicrobial treatments to which they were once susceptible. The use of antibiotics is important in treating infections and preventing disease from arising in both animals and humans. However, the overuse and/or misuse of antibiotics in both animal husbandry and healthcare settings has been linked to the emergence and spread of microorganisms which are resistant to them, rendering treatment ineffective and posing a risk to public health.
The FSA is responsible for food safety. It assesses whether current agricultural practices may have an effect on public health via the food chain and works to affect change where this is considered to be the case. The transmission of AMR microorganisms through the food chain is thought to be one of the routes by which people are exposed to AMR bacteria. However, there is uncertainty around the contribution food makes to the problem of AMR in human infections. This report forms part of the project: A Microbiological Survey of Campylobacter Contamination in Fresh Whole UK Produced Chilled Chickens at Retail Sale (2015-2018) and presents AMR data for a subset of those Campylobacter isolates collected as part of this survey. There is a continued need to monitor the prevalence and types of AMR bacteria in retail chicken and other
foods to assess the risk to public health and also to inform a baseline to monitor future progress in reducing AMR in the food chain.