Model for quantifying the risk of AMR exposure via food products

June 27, 2022

In this research project funded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), SAFOSO and AUSVET Europe developed a stochastic modelling framework to assess the risk of exposure of consumers to AMR genes through the consumption of chicken and lettuce products.  

The final report is publicly available on the FSA website:

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global public health challenge. It is a complex issue driven by a variety of interconnected factors enabling microorganisms to survive antimicrobial treatments thus making such infections more difficult to treat. Unless urgent action is taken to reduce AMR globally, the number of deaths caused by AMR is predicted to increase to an estimated 10 million each year by 2050.

The food chains of various food products may be important transmission routes of antimicrobial resistant bacteria for humans. The current project developed a stochastic modelling framework that will help FSA to assess the risk to UK consumers with regard to AMR associated with food.

To test the adaptability of the tool to various pathogens and different food production chains, two combinations of microorganisms (E. Coli and Campylobacter spp.) in the chicken and the lettuce production chains were used.

The results showed that the model outputs were consistent with the existing scientific literature and therefore that the model provided reliable results. One of the major strengths of the tool is its adaptability and flexibility to test new microorganisms and to change aspects of the food value chains. During the development of the tool, it was clear that there was scarce availability of data for some of variables used, especially for a number of AMR-related parameters. Future studies should focus on improving the availability of data on these parameters to obtain more accurate outputs from the tool, particularly for antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms.

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