FSA publishes first AMR survey of UK retail lamb and turkey meat

01 March 2022

Article: 56/806

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published the findings of a UK-wide survey of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Campylobacter bacteria from lamb and turkey meat on UK retail sale. Previously, the FSA’s surveys have focused on UK retail beef, pork and chicken meat, resulting in a lack of comparable data on AMR bacteria found in lamb and turkey meat.

Several findings have been made from the sampling of 210 lamb and 210 turkey meat products:

  • AmpC/ESBL resistant E. coli was detected in 1% of lamb and 11% of turkey meat samples, whilst carbapenem resistance was not detected.
  • A transferable colistin resistance gene was detected in E. coli from 1% of turkey samples. Although this is the first time this type of resistance has been found in UK retail turkey meat, an FSA risk assessment was carried out and deemed the risk to be very low.
  • The prevalence of Campylobacter in turkey was 11%, with the most common resistances detected were to ciprofloxacin, tetracycline and nalidixic acid.

Source: FSA, 23 February 2022