Health Ministry defines maximum permissible limits of antibiotics in food animals
Antibiotic resistance has become a major public health threat worldwide. Use of antibiotics in food animals is emerging as a major cause of emergence of antibiotic resistance. The WHO has also recently published guidelines recommending farmers and the food industry to stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified amendment to Food Safety & Standards (Contaminants, Toxins & Residues) Regulations, 2011 on 7th November, 2017.
Now called the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, toxins and Residues) Amendment Regulations, 2017, the notification contains maximum permissible limits of various antibiotics in meat and meat products including chicken. Maximum permissible limits of 37 antibiotics and 67 other veterinary drugs are prescribed for chicken.
“(2) No person shall use any of the following antibiotics and other pharmacologically active substances in any unit which processes sea foods including shrimps, prawns or any variety of fish and fishery products, namely. 1. Nitrofurans including- (i) Furaltadone; (ii) Furazolidone; (iii) Nitrofurnatoin; (iv) Nitrofurazone. 2. Chloramphenicol. 3. Sulphamethoxazole. 4. Aristolochia spp and preparations thereof. 5. Chloroform. 6. Chloropromazine. 7. Colchicine. 8. Dapsone. 9. Dimetridazole. 10. Metronidazole. 11. Ronidazole. 12. Ipronidazole and other nitromidazoles. 13. Clenbuterol. 14. Diethylstibestrol. 15. Glycopeptides. 16. Stilbenes and other steroids. 17. Crystal Violet. 18. Malachite Green.”
The tolerance limits of various antibiotics used in human beings and animals, exclusively used in animals and other various veterinary drugs have been specified in the notification.
The draft notification is available on FSSAI website. Objections and suggestions have been invited from all the stakeholders including general public within 30 days of the notification i.e. by 6th December, 2017.
(Source: Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, November 20, 2017)