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FDA Releases 2012 NARMS Retail Meat Annual Report, 2013 Preliminary Data

Agency announces transition to more comprehensive and timely reporting

UPDATED April 15, 2015: The FDA has updated the 2013 Retail Meat Interim Report and information below to reflect corrections to data in the report. Specifically, the finding of a decline in the overall proportion of Salmonella isolates that were multi-drug resistant between 2011 and 2013 refer only to isolates from poultry.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released two reports that measure antimicrobial resistance in certain bacteria isolated from raw meat and poultry collected through the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS).

The agency is releasing its 2012 Retail Meat Report, which summarizes key findings in antimicrobial resistance related to raw chicken, ground turkey, ground beef and pork chops collected at retail stores. The second report released today is the 2013 Retail Meat Interim Report, which contains data from January – December 2013 and focuses only on Salmonella, a pathogen of concern in foodborne disease outbreaks. Information includes serotype distribution, prevalence by food source and state, and select resistance patterns. To provide data in a timelier manner, the FDA intends to issue the retail meat interim reports biannually; although the agency provided a full year of data in its 2013 Retail Meat Interim Report. The data in the biannual interim reports only reflect prevalence and not trends.

The FDA’s annual NARMS reports focus on foodborne pathogens that display resistance to antibiotics that are considered important in human medicine, as well as those that are multidrug resistant (described as resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics). The retail meat arm of the NARMS program collects samples of grocery store chicken, ground turkey, ground beef and pork chops, and tests for non-typhoidal Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus, to determine whether such bacteria are resistant to various antibiotics used in human and veterinary medicine. Enterococcus and most E. coli are not considered major foodborne pathogens but are included mainly because they are helpful in understanding how resistance occurs and spreads.

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