NHS rolls out electronic prescription in the fight against antibiotic resistance
The NHS are rolling out electronic prescribing in the fight against antibiotic resistance.
A recent article in the Telegraph newspaper reports that;
“Health chiefs have drawn up the plans amid warnings that antibiotic resistance now poses as great a threat as climate change.”
Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care UK will be informing attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos that “we are on the cusp of a world where a simple graze could be deadly”. He has stated that it needs to be treated as a “global health emergency” and wants to cut the use of drugs across the country by 15% by setting targets.
The head of the NHS Mr Simon Stevens, said that; “much of the change would be achieved by the rollout electronic prescribing across the health service.” This would allow health officials to detect areas that are prescribing the most antibiotics so that they can try and persuade medics to cut down.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The increase in antibiotic resistance is a threat we cannot afford to ignore.
“Government data shows that, since 2014, the UK has cut the amount of antibiotics it uses by more than 7 per cent and sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals has dropped by 40 per cent.”
“The amount of antimicrobials used in food production internationally is at least the same as that in humans, and in some places is higher. For example, in the US more than 70% of antibiotics that are medically important for humans are used in animals.
“When properly used, antibiotics are essential for treating infections in animals, but excessive and inappropriate use of the drugs is a problem.
A considerable amount of antibiotics are used in healthy animals to prevent infection or speed up their growth. This is particularly the case in intensive farming, where animals are kept in confined conditions.”
Randox Food Diagnostics have developed Biochip Array Technology a multiplexing platform which allows the screening of up to 54 food/feed samples for a large range of antibiotics in under 3 hours on the Randox Evidence Investigator analyser.
To find out more information on how Biochip Array Technology works visit our website at: www.randoxfood.com
Or contact us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Randox Food Diagnostics recently reported that the European Parliament has banned the use of antibiotics that are important for human medicine use on animals, and is prohibiting any antimicrobials in livestock without a vet prescription. The new legislation, that is to become law by 2022, states that antimicrobials cannot be used to improve performance or compensate for poor animal conditions.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) have now documented a significant drop in overall veterinary antibiotic sales across Europe. The EMA recognise that the reduction highlights the efforts made by the European Union (EU) and various stakeholders, promoting prudent use of antibiotics in the animal sector and its positive impact. The reduction of antibiotic use in food-producing animals is a key pillar to the EUs One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), according to a report conducted by the University of Minnesota.
30 countries in total submitted data between 2011 and 2016. German antibiotic sales dropped by 58%. However, whilst the majority of countries saw a drop in sales, six countries reported an increase of more than 5%. Germany’s implementation of an antibiotic minimising programme has helped the country to minimise antibiotic use, by requiring farmers raising cattle, pigs, chickens, or turkeys to report the frequency of antibiotic treatment on their farm every 6 months. If animal treatment frequency is above the median of all farms, operators must evaluate their usage with a veterinarian.
This major step forward in public health has a direct impact on the environment and food. Randox Food Diagnostics recognise the importance of improving the global food safety chain, and continue to transform the landscape by developing high quality revolutionary screening products. Our reliable and economic testing methods enable the user to detect multiple drug and toxin residues from a single sample, including antimicrobials, growth promoting compounds, synthetic steroids, anthelmintics and coccidiostats. With an expanding range of 37 ELISAs, 21 multiplex screening arrays and 20 enzymatic/colourmetric reagents, our trusted solutions ensure that better science means safer food.
For any questions, email us directly at: email@example.com
With just one month to go until IDF WDS 2018 in Daejeon, South Korea preparations are underway at Randox Food Diagnostics HQ. IDF WDS is the world’s leading dairy conference, attended by industry experts, multi-national dairy processors, standing committees and academics, the event is truly one of a kind. Randox Food Diagnostics are exhibiting at booth #16 showcasing our most innovative development yet, the InfiniPlex for Milk Array.
InfiniPlex for Milk is a dairy test kit that offers testing using the most innovative method on the market. Testing milk at various points of the production process is an essential part of the quality control process. Contaminants are administered to dairy cattle to improve herd health, stop the spread of disease and deliver a high-quality product. As a result of this it then becomes essential to screen the milk to ensure no residues pass through to the final product.
The quality of milk is gaining closer inspection on a global scale with antimicrobial resistance at the forefront of concerns. Regulations are getting stricter and many processors are facing the problem that their current quality control method does not have a comprehensive enough test menu. The InfiniPlex for Milk Array helps processors tackle this problem by providing a test menu that complies with EU regulated antibiotics from one sample of raw milk.
There are two analysers that can run the InfiniPlex test kit, the Evidence Investigator and the Evidence MultiSTAT. The Investigator is suitable for laboratories with high throughput delivering 48 samples in under 2 hours and the MultiSTAT is perfect for onsite testing at dairy processors, border control or at farm level with results available in under 20 minutes.
Join us at IDF 2018, Daejeon, South Korea to learn more about how InfiniPlex for Milk can fit in with your quality control process. Alternatively, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The potential presence of drug residue contaminants in food products destined for human consumption is an increasingly popular topic of conversation in the industry but what are the main challenges facing the industry to tackle this potential issue?
Drug residue contaminants in food products is a discussion that involves the global community but each individual country or trade bloc has their own protocols and regulations relating to the control and monitoring of residues. The different legislations are designed to protect the general public as well as the food industry interests in their individual countries. Any business that wishes to sell their products within other countries or regions must meet their legislative requirements relating to drug residues. These differences in regulations have increased the need for increased dialogue on the issue as well as the implementation of effective monitoring systems.
The industry must deal with the potential of residues from antibiotics and growth promoting hormones entering the food chain. This will involve ensuring correct dosage per animal and also adhering to withdrawal periods set for their region. The second issue the industry faces is the stigma received from the misuse of these antibiotics and growth promoting hormones.
While there is a potential for misuse it should always be noted that a producer’s main concern should always be animal health, which leads to a quality end product. The use of antibiotics is to ensure the health of the animal and to reduce the potential knock on effect of untreated diseases which could create a downturn on yield. Growth promoting hormones are used to increase this yield also but should never be done so at the expense of a safe end product.
Residues from particular drugs in food produce can have serious implications for human health. As such many countries have set Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) or tolerances for these residues in food. The Maximum Residue Limit is the maximum concentration of a residue that can be present in a product from an animal or animal by product intended for the food supply. These MRLs mean that it is required by law in the enforcing countries that any product in the food chain cannot contain residue levels that are harmful to human health above these limits.
There has been controversy over measures to tackle drug residues in foods as there are no internationally accepted standards for many drugs. Ractopamine in particular has caused trade disputes as it is permitted in food production in some countries like the US & Canada, but the European Union, China, Taiwan and over 100 other countries have banned its use.
The real challenge the food industry faces is ensuring their testing methods are effective and reliable to ensure the safety of a variety of end products. To name a few of these diverse products we can look at the dairy, meat, seafood, feed and honey markets.
The dairy industry is under constant scrutiny and pressure to constantly produce high volumes of milk whilst maintaining a superior standard of quality in their dairy products. As part of the production process various contaminants are administered to cattle in an effort to systematically treat various infectious diseases and maintain a healthy herd. A direct consequence of this is the requirement of routine monitoring and testing within farms and dairy processors to ensure that the levels of contaminants in milk are within legal regulations not exceeding Maximum Residue Limits and that unauthorised substances are not found at any level in milk.
Testing can be conducted at several points during the production process. Firstly, farm level testing can be carried out to screen milk from cows that have been separated from the herd and undergone antibiotic treatment. Secondly, the dairy processor is required to conduct testing both onsite taking samples from tankers and retrospective testing as a method of internal surveillance to ensure the milk supplied from several farms is within global regulatory limits. Thirdly, retailers can test the processed milk end product to guarantee the milk is antibiotic free before it’s added to supermarket shelves for consumers.
Global meat production and consumption have increased rapidly in recent decades. Worldwide meat production has tripled over the last four decades and increased 20 percent in just the last 10 years. Meanwhile, industrial countries are consuming growing amounts of meat, nearly double the quantity in developing countries. Mass quantities of antibiotics are used on livestock to reduce the impact of disease, contributing to antibiotic resistance in animals and humans alike. Worldwide, 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in 2009 were used on livestock and poultry, compared to only 20 percent used for human illnesses.
Growth promoters, which are tested for under the NRCP, are hormonal and antibiotic substances that may be used in food producing animals for growth promotion in livestock animals thus increasing the production of muscle meat and the reduction of fat. The type of growth promoter used is dependent on the animal species and mode of rearing with steroid growth promoters used for beef cattle and antibiotic growth promoters, which are usually added to feedstuffs, such as the coccidiostats used in the poultry industry and chlortetracycline used in the porcine industry. The rapid speed of meat production calls for the need to test for drug residues frequently to prevent them from ending up in the food chain.
The global aquaculture industry has grown steadily over the past five decades, increasing at an average rate of 3.2%. However, this growth has come at a cost, with the industry facing many new challenges. Farmed seafood is often treated with medicated feeds which contain antibiotics such as leucomalachite green and nitrofurans for example to prevent from disease spreading, they are also exposed to other harmful residues used to treat algae etc. within the ‘pens’ where they are kept.
The FAO (2012) reported that 38% of fish produced globally is exported, highlighting the imbalances in regional supply and the changing tastes of the global consumer. This increased level of exporting and importing shows the importance of drug residue screening within the global aquaculture industry. This increased level of exporting and importing shows the importance of drug residue screening within the global aquaculture industry.
The global animal feed processing market is estimated at US$21.61 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach US$ 26.62 Billion by 2023. The market is driven by factors such as the rising awareness of feed nutrition and health, technological advancements in the equipment industry and increase in the demand for feed around the world. Medicated feeds containing veterinary are often used to help prevent disease within livestock and there are MRLs for feed which has created the need for testing as high levels of residues can have an effect on livestock health and also transfer through to meat products for human consumption. With humidity levels rising in recent years there has been an influx in the level of mycotoxins found within feed and cereals. These toxins are fungal and can affect both livestock and human health for example mycotoxicoses which is a disease which can affect the respiratory system. The main cause of mycotoxins within stored grains are when the grain is damp or cracked and kept in insufficient storage conditions. These factors have made it necessary for feed and cereals to be tested for both drug residues and mycotoxins to ensure that they do not end up within the food chain.
The global honey market is growing at a rapid pace and the global consumption of honey is to reach 2.5 million tones by 2022. This growth is driven for consumers demand for natural and healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners over cane sugar. There is also a growing awareness of the health and healing benefits of honey which is driving the demand for the use of honey for medicinal use, manuka honey sales continue to grow for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The rapid rise in demand for honey outweighs the amount that can be produced in a natural form globally due to a decline in the number of bees. This has influenced the quality of honey being produced as some producers take to diluting natural honey with high-fructose corn syrups in order to supply the demand. There is a requirement for keepers to treat bee colonies with antibiotics to prevent CCD and other diseases such as varroa mites and there is a chance that these harmful drug residues can be transferred through to the end product ‘natural’ honey. The use of antibiotic drugs in apiculture is globally restricted and there are no MRLs set for antibiotics in honey as it a natural product and needs to be antibiotic free, this has cause the need for testing both for drug residues and the overall quality of the honey being produced.
Due to the requirement to use a variety of drug treatments in the food industry and also the potential economic benefits to be gained from the use of growth promoters, there will continue to be use in animal production. However, as analytical methods of detection become more sensitive, producers are given further options for testing.
The surveillance for the potential presence of these residues of veterinary substances is regulated by the EU Directive 86/469/EEC. This directive outlines the guidelines for sampling and testing within a residue monitoring programme.
The requirement to meet these standard and the MRLs and detection levels outlined in the legislation has created a need for analytical methods to become more sensitive to ensure correct analysis. On some occasions MRL’s have been lowered which require a technology sensitive enough to detect very low concentrations in a sample.
One such screening method that is commonly used is the Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods, which work well for testing and providing accurate results.
Randox Food have developed another method of analysis using the Evidence Investigator which uses similar methodology to ELISA methods. The analyser uses biochip array technology (BAT) to perform simultaneous quantitative detection of multiple analytes from a single sample and can be used across multiple matrix types including the products produced by the industries mentioned. The core technology is the Randox biochip, this contains an array of discrete test regions containing immobilized antibodies specific to the drug residues under test.
These methods are rapid, reliable, and sensitive so are able to detect residues in very small concentrations. The Randox methods are developed in line with EU Directive 86/469/EEC and as such are an effective testing method for multiple areas of the food industry.
For further information please contact the Randox Food Diagnostics team by emailing: email@example.com
In the month of May alone, over 20 cases of feed and cereal based products have been rejected at EU borders after testing positive for aflatoxins with a risk decision level marking of ‘serious’, countries of origin include; Turkey, Egypt, Gambia, U.S, Indonesia, India, Azerbaijan and Spain.
The European Union have set tolerance levels for Aflatoxin B1 at 2 parts per billion (ppb) and total aflatoxins at 4ppb for nuts, cereals and dried fruits.
Aflatoxins are a mycotoxin produced by a fungus and thrive in hot and humid climates. Aflatoxin B1 is the most prevalent among food products and commonly occur among cereals (including wheat, barley, rice and corn) oilseeds (peanuts, almonds, pistachios and other nuts) spices, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products.
Screening for Mycotoxins
There are various screening methods available for mycotoxins in food, but few offer the choice of screening for multiple mycotoxins from one sample. Randox Food Diagnostics has created patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT), an immunoassay ELISA based method, to save the feed and cereal industry time and money on testing.
The Myco Array kit range can screen for 3-10 mycotoxins simultaneously from a single sample and depending on the users testing requirements, customisable kits are available.
For more information on mycotoxin screening with Randox Food Diagnostics contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mycotoxin contamination is a real and constant threat for feed and animal compound producers globally. Recently the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontairo stated that the different geographical locations of cattle mean between 10 and 20 mycotoxins can be present at once. This is a result of extreme weather patterns across the US with excess moisture and drought in different areas causing an increase in the frequency of mycotoxins, creating challenges in protecting livestock from ingesting contaminated feed.
The most common mycotoxins found are Aflatoxin, Fusarium, Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone. Aflatoxin is produced by Aspergillus flavus, a tropical fungus that thrives in high humidity and affects an animal’s liver, causing cancer in more extreme cases. Fusarium can develop in most temperate climates across the U.S and Canada. Fusarium poses a higher threat than other toxins as there are hundreds of different chemical structures to analyse to enable identification of the Fusarium.
Difficulties also arise in finding an analytical method sensitive enough to detect mycotoxins at low levels of contamination as small amounts can still lead to fatal results in horses, dogs and cats.
To prevent mycotoxin infection in feed, processors can implement a routine screening procedure with the help of Randox Food Diagnostics. Randox Food offer a multiplex screening system for the simultaneous detection of up to 10 of the world’s most prevalent mycotoxins including: Paxilline, Fumonisins (part of the Fusarium group), Ochratoxin A, Aflatoxin G1/G2, Aflatoxin B1/B2, Ergot Alkaloids, Diacetoxyscirpenol, Deoxynivalenol, T2 Toxin and Zearalenone. All compounds are screened at low limits of detection using Biochip Array Technology.
Biochip Array Technology is a patented technology created by Randox to facilitate the detection of contaminants and drug residues with over 20 evaluated matrices in feed (see full list below).
|Animal Feed (Complete)||Millet||Sunflower|
|Cotton Seed||Rye||Feed Pea|
|Distillers Grain||Silage||Vetches (Vica)|
Honey naturally contains a small amount of enzymes which can vary widely by floral source and region. These enzymes play an important role by contributing to functional properties of honey, making it a unique ingredient that is far more complex than other sweeteners.
According to the EU Honey Directive 2001/110/EC, certain composition criteria must be determined for honeys intended for human consumption. In order to achieve this, the most modern enzymatic analyser in the industry, the RX misano, is now available for the analysis of diastase, total sugars (glucose/fructose), HMF and colouration.
Designed with the user in mind, the RX misano incorporates a responsive touch screen display, test menu personalisation and the ability to upload new parameters via USB. With an increase in automatic features, the RX misano also guarantees the precision and accuracy of results, improving the overall efficiency and versatility of enzymatic honey analysis.
The RX misano for honey suits a wide variety of users from bee keepers, to large honey producers/packagers and QA laboratories. It’s table top size allows it to be very versatile in different locations and needs very little maintenance from the user. The user-friendly interface and simple sample preparations means there is no need for the user to have had previous lab experience to run honey samples with the analyser.
For a summary of the benefits of the RX misano see below.
7” responsive touch screen display, favourites menu, on screen prompts, the ability to export data into excel and import new menus.
With the ability to automatically calculate results, the RX misano leaves less chance for human error.
Customisable test menus
As the RX misano for honey test menu continues to grow, users can simply upload new parameters to the machine via USB.
Results are quantitative and produced within +/- 1% of UKAS accredited reference materials, boasting increased accuracy compared to alternative methods.
Reduced foot print
With a smaller footprint than standard spectrophotometers, the RX misano is suitable for laboratories of all sizes.
Excellent thermal performance
The RX misano heats to 37°C in less than 30 seconds and cools from 37°C to 25°C in less than 1 minute.
For more information on the RX misano or any of our other honey testing options please email us at: email@example.com.
Improving global dairy standards is the focus for Randox Food Diagnostics, which is demonstrating its latest advancement – the ‘InfiniPlex for Milk’ – at the 2017 World Dairy Summit. Over 1000 international delegates are expected to attend the event being held in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall between 30th October to 3rd November.
With maintaining consumer confidence in the safety and integrity of dairy products featuring as one of the key topics at this year’s summit, the Northern Ireland-based company is keen to showcase how it can help producers get an edge in the market through ensuring food safety.
At the International Dairy Foundation’s annual conference event Randox Food will be showcasing the InfiniPlex, an innovative system which tests for 130 restricted drugs from one sample, such as antibiotics, non-steroidial anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic drug residues. This is the most comprehensive array on the market and achieves 98% compliance with EU regulations.
The Infiniplex also identifies a number of drug compounds which are not on the EU’s regulated list but which are unsuitable for human consumption. Using this multiplex system ensures that any Randox-tested dairy product will be the safest on the shelf.
Dr FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“It is our aim to ensure that dairy producers have access to the latest and most comprehensive milk safety screening technologies. The Infiniplex for Milk is the world’s first screening technology that ensures dairy processors are compliant with regulations. By meeting its complex needs, InfiniPlex is changing the face of the global dairy industry.”
David Ferguson, Global Business Manager for Randox Food Diagnostics, added;
“Standard industry practice means the primary residues for which screening is carried out is usually limited to two certain varieties of antibiotics. The InfiniPlex for Milk provides a unique insight into the specific combination of drug compounds detected in a single sample offering drug discrimination that allows the user to see what commercially available drug was administered at animal level. Using our multiplex testing offers the global milk industry the most comprehensive product for the analysis of veterinary drug residues in food, protecting the food industry and the consumer.”
The International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit takes place in the Waterfront Hall. Randox Food Diagnostics can be found at Booth 5.
For further information about Randox Food Diagnostics milk testing, please visit: http://www.randoxfood.com/Matrices/Milk
For any further questions please contact Randox PR by phoning 028 9445 1016 or emailing RandoxPR@randox.com
Global leader in food screening technology, Randox Food Diagnostics have developed a range of pioneering honey quality tests which are being adopted by apiculturists across the world to ensure the safety and quality of their produce.
The array of tests, developed by the Antrim-based firm, are being showcased this week at the world’s largest apiculture meeting, the Apimondia International Conference, being held in Istanbul, Turkey from September 29th to October 4th.
The company hopes to highlight to consumers and producers about the importance of food safety, and in particular the dangers of antibacterial residue in food. Scientists have warned that antibiotics used in food production, are passing through the food chain to consumers and therefore contributing to the rise in infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Randox Founder and Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald, commented;
“As a company committed to supporting the fight against antibiotic resistance we must continue to drive awareness amongst producers and consumers alike.
“We are working closely with industry to promote a responsible approach to antibiotic use in food production and we hope that by working with some of the biggest names in the apiculture market, other honey producers will see the benefits of being able to offer their customers complete consumer confidence in a high quality, and importantly, safe product.”
At Apimondia 2017 Randox Food Diagnostics will showcase a range of major technological advancements including the firm’s Antimicrobial Array 1 Ultra, Antimicrobial Array II Plus and Antimicrobial Array V. Thanks to Randox’s patented Biochip Array Technology, these testing panels can simultaneously screen for multiple antibiotics that are sprayed on beehives to ensure the safety of the colony, from only one sample of the produce.
Randox Food’s Antimicrobial Arrays join the company’s already extensive menu of honey screening tests, including its test for Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a test for an organic compound produced by dehydration of sugars, which can be indicative of overheating, poor storage conditions or aged honey. The test was recently validated by leading South American honey producer Geomiel, which credited Randox Food for delivering an immediate improvement in the quality of its honey products.
David Ferguson, Global Business Manager for Randox Food Diagnostics, commented;
“We welcome the fact that so many of the world’s leading producers, including Geomiel, have embraced our vision of continuously improving testing standards.
“We have invested a lot in simplifying the process of conducting multiple tests, and consolidating this onto one unique biochip is a cost-effective way for the honey industry to maintain and improve standards. Apimondia 2017 attendees will be offered a complete testing bundle – including our popular analysers, the Randox Evidence Investigator and RX misano, to enable them to test for antibiotics and assess quality in one easy-to-manage system.
“Another unique feature of what we offer here at Randox Food Diagnostics is our ever-expanding test menu. The RX misano for example has a customisable test menu which allows clients to upload new parameters using USB, ensuring access to the most up-to-date tests on the market.
“We will be inviting Apimondia guests to learn more about the upcoming launch of our new pesticide tests, which will provide multiple results for the world’s most prevalent pesticides, such as Amitraz, Acetamiprid, Carbofuran, Carbaryl, and Paraquar. We remain committed to supporting food producers by providing them with the newest and highest quality tests.”
For further information about Randox Food Diagnostics honey testing, please visit: http://www.randoxfood.com/Matrices/Honey
For any further questions please contact Randox PR by phoning 028 9445 1016 or emailing RandoxPR@randox.com
This week over 100 cows on a farm in New Zealand had to be put down after digesting fungus from an infected feed supply. The herd in the Southland and Otago regions was suffering from ergot toxicity. Randox Food Diagnostics have developed the only test for this fungus on the market, which can protect your animals from injury or death.
Ergot Alkaloids are a naturally occurring fungus most commonly found in grains and grasses. Produced by a group of fungi called the Claviceps species, they infect seed heads of plants during the flowering period. The fungus replaces the developing grain with toxic ergot. The dry summer and wet autumn this year provided the optimum growing conditions for the fungus.
Typically, it causes lameness and swelling of the fetlocks and hock joints but in the most severe cases animals can lose tips of their tails, or ears or even their hooves. As in this case, it can result in animals being put down.
While all animals are at risk of contracting ergot, it is most commonly found in cattle.
According to the report, VetSouth Winton veterinarian Hayden Dore confirmed four cases have been reported in Southland and South Otago with a large number of infected cows.
“Over time it effectively causes one or more of the limbs to become gangrenous. Signs of ergot toxicity generally start with a disinterest in feed, before moving to lameness in the limbs, which presented similarly to foot rot, but without the separation of the toes. Once the limbs go cold from lack of blood supply, it would take about a week before the limbs began to fall off,” he said.
“One herd with 900 milking cows had around 130 cows infected by the poisonous fungus, with subsequently 61 of them being put down.”
Testing for Ergot Alkaloids
Randox Food Diagnostics offer the only array on the market to test for Ergot Alkaloids. Validated for flour and seed, the ELISA test offers excellent limits of detection for the toxin Ergotamine at 1ppb.