Technical specifications on a randomisation of sampling for the purpose of antimicrobial resistance monitoring from food‐producing animals and food as from 2021
To monitor antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from food‐producing animal populations and meat thereof under Decision 2020/1729, a guidance for randomised sampling procedures is provided. Prospective and retrospective sampling plans for samples and isolates are addressed. The former involves collecting sufficient numbers of representative animal and food samples from which recovered isolates are tested for antimicrobial susceptibility; the latter involves selecting randomly Salmonella isolates from collections constituted within the framework of the national control programmes in poultry flocks. A generic proportionate stratified sampling process and numerical illustrations of proportional allocation are provided. Stratified sampling of Salmonella isolates from poultry primary productions is performed with proportional allocation to the size of the isolate collections available in official laboratories. An alternative approach would be a simple random sampling within the sampling frame of flocks positive for Salmonella. Stratified sampling of caecal samples, accounting for at least 60% of the domestic production of food‐producing animal populations monitored, with proportionate allocation to the slaughterhouse production, allows for the collection of representative isolates of Campylobacter and indicator E. coli and enterococci in various animal populations. Sampling of different chilled fresh meat categories is performed at retail outlets serving the final consumer, with proportional allocation of the number of samples to the population of geographical areas accounting for at least 80% of the national population, to test for the presence of ESBL‐/AmpC‐/carbapenemase‐producing E. coli. Stratified sampling of imported fresh meat is performed at border control posts, with proportional allocation to the number of consignments and origin to test Salmonella and indicator E. coli for antimicrobial susceptibility, and to test for the presence of ESBL‐/AmpC‐/carbapenemase‐producing E. coli. The corresponding sampling design is based on the reliable existing TRACES statistics, and the effect of the UK leaving the EU cannot be considered at this stage because of the major uncertainties still associated with it. These technical specifications should be updated as needed based on the first monitoring campaigns and trends in AMR.