Vet association welcomes results of antibiotic resistant bacteria testing

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has labelled the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) risk assessment on MRSA and LA-MRSA as “very positive news”.

After the FSA analysed risks connected with food preparation, and the handling and/or consumption of foodstuffs in the UK that may be contaminated with MRSA and LA-MSA, it was found that there is a low risk of transmission to UK consumers. MRSA and LA-MRSA are both types of bacteria that are resistant to a number of widely used anitbiotics. As a result, they can be more difficult to treat than other bacterial infections.

The report found that by following the FSA’s advice to practice good food and kitchen hygiene, including washing hands and kitchen equipment after touching raw meat, and by cooking meat thoroughly, the risk to human health remains low.

“The outcome of this risk assessment is very positive news and we would encourage everyone to follow the FSA’s advice around food hygiene when storing, preparing and handling meat,” said John Fishwick, junior vice president of the BVA.

“These results also demonstrate the importance of vets in every step of the process, from farm to fork, to prevent disease and ensure good animal health and welfare. LA-MRSA is a resistant bacterium which has been identified in livestock in various countries throughout the world, although cases are rare in UK herds.”

Despite the welcome news, Fishwick said that we should not grow complacent. “It is highly important that vets continue to lead the way in encouraging the responsible use of antibitoics, to ensure valuiable antimicrobials remain effective and that diseases and infections can be efficiently treated,” he explained.

“BVA will continue to promote the responsible use of antimicrobials. These drugs are crucial for the maintenance of animal health and there are many innovative and important developments happening in the poultry, pig and other sectors to promote good practice for antibiotic use and explore alternative measures. We are also working closely with RUMA [Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance] to further this message. It is only through using these drugs responsibly, alongside good biosecurity, that diease such as MRSA can remain uncommon in UK herds.”

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