The public health issue of antibiotic residues in food and feed: Causes, consequences, and potential solutions
Antibiotics are among the essential veterinary medicine compounds associated with animal feed and food animal production. The use of antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infections is almost unavoidable, with less need to demonstrate their importance. Although banned as a growth factor for a few years, their use in animals can add residues in foodstuffs, presenting several environmental, technological, animal health, and consumer health risks. With regard to human health risks, antibiotic residues induce and accelerate antibiotic resistance development, promote the transfer of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to humans, cause allergies (penicillin), and induce other severe pathologies, such as cancers (sulfamethazine, oxytetracycline, and furazolidone), anaphylactic shock, nephropathy (gentamicin), bone marrow toxicity, mutagenic effects, and reproductive disorders (chloramphenicol). Antibiotic resistance, which has excessively increased over the years, is one of the adverse consequences of this phenomenon, constituting a severe public health issue, thus requiring the regulation of antibiotics in all areas, including animal breeding. This review discusses the common use of antibiotics in agriculture and antibiotic residues in food/feed. In-depth, we discussed the detection techniques of antibiotic residues, potential consequences on the environment and animal health, the technological transformation processes and impacts on consumer health, and recommendations to mitigate this situation. Arsène, et al.