Investigation into the risk of exposure to antibiotic residues contaminating meat and egg in Ghana
Posted: November 30th, 2010 - 8:54pm
Source: Food Control
In Ghana and many developing countries, little is known about food safety in relation to antibiotic residues. The objectives of the study were to (i) determine the prevalence of antibiotic residues in animal source food and estimate the risk to consumers (ii) identify factors predisposing animal source food to contamination with antibiotic drug residues. A total of 634 samples of various animal source foods, including beef, chevon, mutton, pork and egg were screened for drug residues. Additionally, epidemiological data related to antibiotic usage on animals and consumption patterns of animal source food was collected from animal farmers and consumers of animal source food respectively. Overall, the prevalence of drug residues in animal source food was 21.1%, which translates to an average risk of exposure every fifth time animal source food is consumed. The prevalence rates of drug residues in the various animal source foods were; 30.8% (beef); 29.3% (chevon); 28.6% (pork); 24% (mutton); and 6.8% (egg). The trends of consumption of the animal source foods were similar, and majority of the consumers consumed the food every week. Considering the relatively high contamination rates of animal source food as well as their high rates of consumption, it is likely that consumers experience a high risk of exposure to drug residues, especially through beef. Specific causal factors associated with non-adherence of withdrawal requirements of drugs, and therefore contaminations of food were mainly knowledge related factors. This underscores the importance of health education of farmers in dealing with the problem of drug residues contaminating animal source food.