Article is available in full to IFST members and subscribers.

Register on the FST Journal website for free

Click the button to register to FST Journal online for free and gain access to the latest news


If you are an IFST member, please login through the Members Area of the IFST website. 













AMR E. coli in UK retail meat

The FSA has published the Year 3 (2017) results of an EU survey commissioned to assess the frequency of certain types of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) E. coli in raw UK retail pork and beef[8]. These findings have been collected on behalf of the European Commission as part of an EU-wide seven-year surveillance study. The data is fed back to the European Commission on a yearly basis and reported in the EU Summary Report on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Samples (314 beef and 310 pork) were purchased from retail premises in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and tested for specific types of AMR E. coli.

Overall, results showed that less than 1% of the samples were positive for ESBL or AmpC E. coli, which are specific types of AMR. These results are similar to those measured in Year 1 of the survey. However, one beef sample was found to be contaminated with an E. coli containing the mcr-1 gene, which confers resistance to the antibiotic colistin.

This is thought to be the first discovery of an mcr-1 positive E. coli from retail beef in the UK. Although the meat came from outside the UK, further testing indicated no contamination with this E.coli on other samples and at this stage the source of the contamination has not been pinpointed. However, a risk assessment has been carried out and the FSA says that the risk to public health is very low.

In the recently published 2015 EU report, the UK survey results compared favourably to those from other European countries.



View the latest digital issue of FS&T or browse the archive


Click here

Become a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology