Food Safety Focus (157th Issue, August 2019) – Food Incident Highlight
Beware of Antimicrobial Resistance in Foodborne Bacteria
The presence of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria in food can be caused by the misuse of antibiotics in animal farms. Improper food preparation processes can contribute to the spread of AMR bacteria. For example, poor hygienic practices can cause cross-contamination while consuming raw or undercooked food that contain AMR bacteria may cause the consumer acquiring the AMR bacteria. Infection with AMR bacteria can be asymptomatic and the person may not exhibit any signs or symptoms of disease, although some AMR bacteria can cause food poisoning.
The risk of AMR bacteria in food should not be overlooked. The trade is advised to follow the Five Keys to Food Safety. Food handlers should observe strict hygiene practice and food should be cooked thoroughly. The trade can also remind consumers by adding advisory such as ‘Consuming raw or undercooked foods may increase the risk of food-borne illness, especially for pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immunity’ on menus or placards of service locations.
Consumers, especially high risk groups as mentioned above are advised not to consume raw or undercooked food.