Occurrence In Food

It is not possible to obtain an absolute accounting of the rate of occurrence of violative veterinary drug residues in human food. The violation rate can depend greatly on not only the specific residue and matrix, but also on the number of samples analysed and the type of methodology utilized. Nevertheless, the results from several monitoring programs can be informative in evaluating the overall scope of the issue.

In the U.S., one monitoring program for veterinary drug residues in meat products is administered by the Food Safety Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (FSIS/USDA). Tissue from many production classes of cattle, swine, lambs, goats and poultry are tested for a variety of residues. The results from this program are published in the FSIS/USDA Red Book [208]. In 2004, over 3,000 tests were performed for antibiotic residues and 38 violations were recorded. Violative residues of penicillin (6), tilmicosin (3), neomycin (25) and gentamicin (4) were found; many of these occurred in veal products. In addition to these tests, a similar number of tests were performed for sulfonamide residues. Five sulfonamide violations were found in hogs, veal and turkey. Over

1.000 samples were analysed for chloramphenicol in cows, veal and poultry, but no residues were found.

The National Milk Drug Residue Database is maintained by the U.S. FDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition in cooperation with state governments in the U.S. This database reports the results from a voluntary industry-reporting program. Samples are obtained from milk pick-up tanks, pasteurized fluid milk and milk products and analysed for drug residues using rapid test kits. In the 2003 report [209], over 4 million samples were analysed. Many of these tests were for b-lactam residues and the most violations, approximately 3,000 (<0.1%), were found for these residues. Sulfonamide residue tests were performed over 66,000 times and 23 positive samples were found. A few non-compliant residues of tetra-cyclines and aminoglycosides were also detected in a limited number of samples.

A Canadian total diet study monitoring veterinary drug residues in fish and seafood was conducted over a period of more than 10 years [210]. This study examined 30 samples of shrimp, marine fish, fresh fish and canned fish. The products were analysed for 39 different drug residues and 9 positive samples were found. The most common violations were for quinolone and nitrofuran metabolite residues in shrimp; leucomalachite green and chloramphenicol residues were also present.

The EU conducts an extensive residue-monitoring program; the results from the 2004 program have been posted [211]. This report includes residue-monitoring data from 25 countries (member states). In 2004, approximately 807,000 targeted samples and 64,000 suspect samples were tested. In addition to antibiotics testing, samples were also monitored for hormones and other veterinary drugs. Many types of food matrices were part of this program, including milk, eggs, honey, aquaculture and meat products. Residues of prohibited substances such as chloramphenicol and nitrofurans were found to be violative at a rate of approximately 0.11%. Residues of malachite green were found in aquaculture products from many of the member states. The violation rate for antibiotics was 0.22%. There were a few violative results for other drugs such as tranquilizers and NSAIDs and the incidence of coccidiostat residues in eggs was highlighted as a continuing problem.

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