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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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NARMS Retail Meat 2004 Annual Report Posted on the CVM Website

September 21, 2006

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System – Enteric Bacteria (NARMS) Retail Meat Annual Report for 2004 has been posted on the FDA/Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA/CVM) Website.

The primary purpose of the NARMS Retail Meat program is to monitor the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AR) among foodborne pathogenic and commensal organisms, in particular, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Enterococcus and E. coli. The results generated by the NARMS Retail Meat program establish a reference point for analyzing trends of antimicrobial resistance among these foodborne bacteria.

Food animal products destined for human consumption are known to harbor enteric bacteria, including zoonotic foodborne pathogens. Antimicrobial resistance among these organisms may be associated with the use of antimicrobial agents in food animals. Retail meats represent a point of exposure close to the consumer and, when combined with data from slaughter plants and on-farm studies, provide insights into the prevalence of AR in foodborne pathogens originating from food animals. To gain a better understanding of AR among enteric bacteria in the food supply, the NARMS monitors antimicrobial susceptibility/resistance phenotypes in bacteria isolated from retail meats.

NARMS retail meat surveillance is an ongoing collaboration between FDA/CVM, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and in 2004, the FoodNet laboratories in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. Retail meats are collected at these FoodNet sites and cultured for the presence of the selected organisms. Bacterial isolates are sent to FDA/CVM for confirmation of species, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and genetic analysis.

FoodNet is the principal foodborne disease component of CDC's Emerging Infections Program. It is a collaborative project of the CDC, ten EIP sites (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, New York, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee, and New Mexico), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The project consists of active surveillance for foodborne diseases and related epidemiologic studies designed to help public health officials better understand the epidemiology of foodborne diseases in the United States.

Several notable updates in the NARMS Retail Meat program occurred in 2004. A total of 4,699 meats samples were collected, up from 3,533 in 2003. This was due to the addition of FoodNet laboratories in Colorado and New Mexico, increasing the number of test sites from 8 to 10. Also, in 2004, FDA/CVM adopted a broth microdilution antimicrobial susceptibility testing method for Campylobacter, which also increased the number of agents tested from 5 to 9. The nine antimicrobials tested in 2004 were: Azithromycin, Ciprofloxacin*, Clindamycin, Erythromycin*, Florfenicol, Gentamicin*, Nalidixic Acid, Telithromycin, and Tetracycline (* indicates agents also tested in 2003). Meropenem and Doxycycline were dropped from the list of Campylobacter agents tested.

Questions about the NARMS Retail Meat 2004 Report should be directed to Dr. Patrick McDermott, phone 301-210-4213, Patrick.McDermott@FDA.HHS.gov.


Contact FDA

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Issued by: FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine

Communications Staff, HFV-12

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Rockville, MD 20855