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This document describes a pragmatic way to implement the testing of antibiotic residues along the dairy chain. From the farm to the dairy processing factory, the various stages at which tests can be implemented are detailed.
Checking compliance with regulations is the main reason for testing. Examples of different regulations in terms of residue limits are included. All the actors of the dairy chain are responsible for ensuring safe milk delivery. The document provides tools that can be implemented at any level of the dairy chain and can help in choosing the most suitable method. Sampling good practices, recommendations for sample storage, advantages and disadvantages of available methods and procedures applied to validate the tests are all discussed. The document ends with examples of applied strategies in different countries. Tables show regulated procedures and some pragmatic ways to ensure a safe milk supply.
The reader will notice that testing should be implemented from the very beginning of the milk production chain to check the absence of contamination. Collaboration with the antibiotic prescribers to control the use of antibiotics and reduce the risks of contamination is a complementary approach to achieve the delivery of safe milk.
Keywords: Antibiotic residues, Testing, Detection, Milk safety, Veterinary drugs, ADI, MRL, Screening methods, Confirmatory methods