Levels of antimicrobial resistant E. coli in UK retail meat remain low

20 November 2018

Article: 52/4607

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have published the Year Three results of an EU survey commissioned to assess the frequency of certain types of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) E. coli in raw UK retail pork and beef.

Year Three of the survey was carried out between January and December 2017 during which 314 beef and 310 pork samples were purchased from retail premises in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and tested for specific types of AMR E. coli.

The survey generates baseline data on certain types of AMR E. coli found in retail meat in the UK, which informs assessment of the risks found, and steps needed be taken, in order to reduce exposure to AMR.

Overall, the results showed that less than 1% of the samples were positive for ESBL or AmpC E. coli, which are specific types of AMR. These results are similar to what was found in Year One of the survey. However, one beef sample was found to be contaminated with an E. coli containing the mcr-1 gene, which confers resistance to the antibiotic colistin.

Source: FSA, 13 November 2018