EU-wide animal disease test guidelines

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched detailed guidelines on new harmonised European Union (EU)-wide tests for detecting antimicrobial resistance to salmonella in fowl, turkeys and pigs, plus campylobacter in broilers.

The EFSA wants the EU's 27 countries to collect data similarly to help frame an effective pan-EU strategy to control these diseases, the bane of many meat sectors.

In a report, it said resulting information would be especially useful to enable meat industry and food health risk managers to set up effective pan EU-monitoring systems for the diseases in meat products widely traded across Europe.

"The current specifications are considered as a first step towards a gradual implementation of comprehensive antimicrobial resistance monitoring at the EU level," said a spokesman for the EFSA.

The system would involve each member state collecting at least 170 samples for salmonella and campylobacter resistance among each target group of livestock.

Test and analysis results would be published national reports made compulsory under existing EU rules on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and antimicrobial resistance.

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