Improving milk and chicken meat quality and safety in the Kenyan food sector (QUALIFOOD)

Project summary

Climate change augment antimicrobial resistant infections and affects the rate at which microbes acquire resistance, and if not dealt with, 10 million people is estimated to die globally by 2050 due to resistant bacteria. This will affect economy and livelihood, especially in low and middle-income countries, and push more people into poverty.

Antimicrobials are widely used in food production to treat and prevent livestock diseases, resulting in selection of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria, antimicrobial residue in food and unintentional consumer exposure to resistant microbes and antimicrobial residues. Information on microbial pathogens, resistances in these organisms, and antimicrobial residues in food in Kenya is limited, and the consequences of unintentional exposure to resistant microbes and antimicrobials through food in development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans is not well understood.

This project forms collaboration with farmers, veterinarians and production chain representatives in Kenya to explore challenges and solutions to antimicrobial use (AMU) and AMR bacteria in dairy and chicken meat production chains. The project applies microbiological, chemical, health and social science frameworks to understand and reduce AMU and AMR bacteria in the production chains. The project determines the presence of AMR bacteria and antimicrobial residue on farms and in products at retail and based on this, it suggests improvements to control measures. It determines consumer and farmers understanding of AMR and the exposure of these groups to antimicrobials and AMR, and it evaluates human health consequences. Together with central stakeholders, it formulates and tests on-farm and production chain interventions to reduce AMR bacteria and antimicrobial residues in milk and chicken meat to improve food quality and secure animal and human health.

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