The European Food Safety Authority has published a report on the role of food-producing environments in the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Among the various sources and transmission routes identified, fertilisers of faecal origin, irrigation and surface water for plant-based food, and water for aquaculture, are considered of major importance. For terrestrial animal production, potential sources consist of feed, humans, water, air or dust, soil, wildlife, rodents, arthropods and equipment.
EFSA identified the resistant bacteria and genes of highest priority for public health that can be transmitted through the food chain, and reviewed the scientific literature to describe their occurrence in those environmental sources.
Measures to limit the emergence and spread of resistance in food production environments include reducing the faecal microbial contamination of fertilizers, water and feed, and implementation of good hygiene practices. The report also made recommendations on priority areas for research that should help to close data gaps.
Source: EFSA, 15 June 2021