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Food Safety Focus (133rd Issue, August 2017 ) – Food Incident Highlight

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Food Safety

The Government launched the Hong Kong Strategy and Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (2017-2022) last month. AMR happens when microorganisms resist previously effective antimicrobials, which is one of the greatest threats to global health and economy. A multi-sectoral and whole-of-society approach involving human medicine, veterinary medicine, agriculture and the food sector should take collective actions to minimise the spread of AMR.

Food can be a source of AMR-microorganisms. Through unhygienic practices or consumption of contaminated food, people can be infected. Observation of good hygienic practice during food preparation is an effective mean to prevent foodborne illness, regardless of whether the microorganisms are AMR or non-AMR. The Centre for Food Safety has always been promoting the “5-Keys to Food Safety” (5-keys) to the food trade and consumers to prevent foodborne infections. The 5-keys are “choose safe raw materials”, “keep hands and utensils clean”, “separate raw and cooked food”, “cook thoroughly”, and “keep food at safe temperature”.