Factors Contributing to the Occurrence of Antimicrobial Drug Residues in Kenyan Milk

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The study investigated factors contributing to the occurrence of antimicrobial drug residues in milk within four major milk production districts in Kenya. The frequency of contamination was studied among small- and large-scale dairy producers to determine if there were differences between the two types of producers. Field samples (n = 1,600) were analyzed with the improved Dutch tube diffusion test, a microbial inhibitor test (Bacillus stearothermophilus). In total, 144 and 64 samples from small- and large-scale producers, respectively, were found to contain β-lactam antibiotics at levels exceeding the established Codex maximum residue level for penicillin G (4 μg/kg). The difference in results between the two categories of producers was found to be significant (P < 0.001). To explain the higher frequency of antibiotic contamination of milk from small-scale producers, a questionnaire was constructed and used with 220 randomly selected smallholders in the selected districts. The results suggested (i) lack of understanding of risks related to antibiotic contamination of food, (ii) poor or no treatment records, and (iii) lack of a monitoring system as major risks for contamination. It was concluded that intensification of the education among small-scale dairy producers would greatly reduce the occurrence of antimicrobial residues in milk.


Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science, Egerton University Njoro, P.O. Box 536, Njoro, Kenya 2: Department of Food Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7051, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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