The retail meat interim report of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), released yesterday, is good news for consumers. The report highlights the dramatic decline in the presence of Salmonella in poultry over the past 15 years, a demonstration that pathogen reduction programs implemented in the meat and poultry industry are working to reduce bacterial contamination of animal derived foods.
The results show that pathogen reduction programs work to reduce both antibiotic resistant and antibiotic susceptible bacteria. The data show antibiotic resistant Salmonella have declined as well. Significantly, there is little or no resistance in Salmonella to antibiotics that are important human therapies.
These data are consistent with data from the other two segments of NARMS which test for resistance in pathogens at slaughter and in isolates taken from humans. Overall, 80% of Salmonella isolates from humans tested by CDC in the NARMS 2021-2013 report are susceptible to all antibiotics. While these reports do not support claims that animals are a major source of antibiotic resistance in human infections, the animal health industry continues to promote judicious use of all antibiotics to protect human and animal health. This includes current work to implement FDA’s Judicious Use policy, eliminating the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion and ensuring veterinary oversight of all remaining uses.