Prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance in the food chain: WHO guidelines

In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe published a document entitled “Addressing antibiotic resistance from a food security perspective in Europe”. It explored options for preventing and containing antibiotic resistance in the food chain through national coordination and international cooperation.

Over the past decade, significant progress has been made and good results have been achieved. However, foodborne antimicrobial resistance remains a problem in the WHO European region. Every year, 23 million people become ill, nearly 5,000 people die from unsafe food, and many foodborne illness risks show increasing levels of resistance to commonly used antimicrobials.

In this context, a new document has been published: “Prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance in the food chain: guidance for food safety authorities in Europe”. It provides an overview of the current context and recent developments regarding foodborne antimicrobial resistance in Europe. It also explores the role of food safety authorities in reducing antimicrobial resistance and provides practical and up-to-date guidance on the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance at the animal-human-environment interface using the One Health approach.

This publication is aimed at policy makers and food safety authorities working in the public health, agriculture, food production and veterinary sectors in Member States of the Region.

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