How can the FSA improve the evidence base concerning Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and food?
Addressing the public health threat posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a national strategic priority for the UK and has led to the UK Government publishing both a 20-year vision of AMR, and a 5-year (2019 to 2024) AMR National Action Plan (NAP) which sets out actions to slow the development and spread of AMR with a focus on antimicrobials. The NAP takes a ‘One-Health’ approach which includes people, animals, agriculture, food safety and the environment. Better food safety and production can help limit the contamination of foodstuffs and spread of resistance. Achieving it requires strong risk-management and a solid understanding of how AMR travels through the food chain.
This Area of Research Interest (ARI) aims to enable the FSA to continue to contribute to the delivery of the AMR NAP by strengthening the evidence base on the role of food and how it is processed impacts the transmission of AMR. This includes more surveillance and research on the diversity and burden of AMR genes in the UK diet and their relevance to the gut resistome and risk assessments for foodborne AMR.
The portfolio of work includes:
surveillance of AMR bacteria in food
research to understand how and to what extent AMR is transmitted through the food chain and how can this be mitigated
social science research to track the perceptions and understanding of food handlers and consumers about bacteria and what can be done to protect people through food hygiene at home