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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Successful NAMRIP/FSA joint workshop tackles antimicrobial resistance and the retail food supply chain

Published: 1 December 2016

The meeting, held on 25 November 2016, was a NAMRIP workshop organised jointly by the Universities of Southampton and Newcastle and the Food Standards Agency.

The workshop was sponsored by the FSA, NAMRIP, ESRC and EPSRC. NAMRIP member, Professor Michelle Lowe, chaired session 1: 'Setting the scene' and Professor Guy Poppy, who is the UK government CSO for food security at the FSA kicked off the proceedings with his talk: ‘The AMR Challenge and the UK’s lead role in the international response’.  NAMRIP Chair, Professor Tim Leighton FRS, FEng (Southampton) followed with an introduction to: ‘NAMRIP – Southampton’s pioneering cross-disciplinary network response to the global challenge of AMR - objectives, structure, achievements and future directions’.

Head of Policy at the FSA, Steve Wearne

Then Dr Alex Hughes (Newcastle) with Neil Wrigley FBA (Southampton) spoke on: ‘AMR and global supply chains- how can we structure research on this under-studied issue?’. Dr Ana Mateus (Royal Veterinary College) spoke on 'A systematic review of AMR in food at the point of retail – launching the new FSA sponsored review’ and then there were questions from the floor followed by coffee and networking. Session 2, Chaired by Dr Alex Hughes,  addressed the question of what is known about the challenge of AMR in UK supply chains and how retailers are responding to the challenge. Delegates heard presentations from Peter Dawson (Dairy UK), Zoe Davies (National Pig Association), Máire Burnett (British Poultry Council) and Una McCarthy (Marine Scotland). By now there was a lively Twitter response (#AMRfood) and after a Q & A it was time for lunch.

fsa building
Tim Leighton, Alex Hughes and Mary Houston, after the meeting at FSA

Session 3 addressed: 'Assessing and reducing the risk of AMR in food supply chains' with a range of talks: Marc Dumont (Southampton), 'The microbiological risk of AMR in the food supply chain’; Tom Cherrett (Southampton), 'Reducing the risk of AMR with innovation in the area of food transport logistics'; Tim Leighton (Southampton), 'How engineering can innovate for infection prevention to reduce risk of AMR via cleaning technology’; and Kristen Reyher (Bristol),‘How can auditing supply chains address the responsible use of antibiotics?’

Steve Wearne, Head of Policy at the Food Standards Agency gave the final talk of the day, which asked: ‘What is best practice for addressing AMR in food supply chains? How can food retailers support this?’

The meeting ended with a networking session over cups of tea and, if you were unable to attend, some of the presentations are available to browse through below.

I thought the event was a great success and I hope the recent ESRC grant for the research will allow further progress in this area – the codex talks went well and I am really interested in trying to address AMR in food and understanding the transmission dynamics from agriculture/veterinary to food to human health.

Professor Guy Poppy - UK Government CSO for food security, Food Standards Agency
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