Public Health Impacts of Antibiotic Residues in Foods of Animal Origin: A Review

Tekalign Tadesse


Residues are defined as all active ingredients or metabolites of those ingredients that remain in meat or other foodstuffs from the animal to which the medicinal product in question has been administered. The presence of antimicrobial residues in foods of animal origin, combined with failure to comply with the instructions for their use (dosage and waiting period) or poor livestock production practices, can have serious consequences for consumer health. Antibiotic residues occur in various types of foods of animal origin including milk, egg and meat due to large-scale application of antibiotics in veterinary practice and creates problems not only in dairy and beef industry but also have immense public health significance. Greater attention from a public health aspect is needed on the safety of drug residues as a result of indiscriminate use of antibiotics and the expanding increase of chemicals and drugs in the food supply. In general, harmful effects of drug and chemical residues may be carcinogenic, teratogenic, reduction in reproductive performance drug allergy and acute toxicity. In accordance with the label directions of the drug product, the safety levels must be strictly observed so that meat, milk or egg products will not contain illegal residues when they are sold for human consumption. Therefore, to prevent residue make individuals and organizations aware of the problem through education about the withdrawal time of the drug and government, producers, veterinarians, teachers and academicians, marketing associations, and other interested parties should work together in order to control and prevent residues in food.

Keywords: Antibiotic, Maximum Residual Limit, Public Health

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