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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Antibiotic use, knowledge, and practices of milk vendors in India's informal dairy value chain

Sharma, Garima; Leahy, Eithne; Deka, Ram Pratim; Shome, Bibek R. R.; Bandyopadhyay, Samiran; Dey, Tushar K. K.; Goyal, Naresh Kumar; Lundkvist, Ake; Grace, Delia; Lindahl, Johanna F. F.

Abstract

BackgroundMilk vendors play an important role in India's dairy value chain; however, their food safety practices are poorly understood. From a milk safety perspective, vendor behavior is significant because it has the potential to affect both consumer and producer behavior. This study describes the types of milk vendors in two Indian states, in an attempt to investigate vendors' hygienic knowledge and practices toward safety and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). MethodsA cross-sectional study was conducted in the states of Assam and Haryana, India. In selected villages, all the milk vendors identified at the time of visit were interviewed. A questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge and practices on antibiotics, milk safety and hygiene. The milk samples were tested for presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria using antibiotic susceptibility testing. ResultsIn total, 244 milk vendors were interviewed during the survey. Out of these, 146 (59.8%) of the vendors traded raw milk, while 40.2% traded pasteurized milk. Vendors were categorized depending on whom they supplied milk to. Five categories were identified: (a) those who sold at grocery shops; (b) those who sold on roadside (roadside vendors); (c) those who sold from door to door; (d) those who sold to sweet makers/tea stalls, and (e) those who sold from own home/other entity. The level of training among vendors on milk hygiene was non-existent and the knowledge related to antibiotics was low. Most of them [210/244 (86.07%)] agreed that boiled milk is always safer than raw milk but almost half [119 (48.77%)] of them admitted that sometimes they drink milk without boiling it. Most vendors believed that they could identify whether milk is safe or not for consumption just by its appearance and smell. Out of 124 milk samples collected from surveyed milk vendors and tested for the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, 80 (64.52%) were tested positive. ConclusionThis study highlights the low levels of knowledge regarding food safety among milk vendors. It shows the predominance of informal milk vendors in the surveyed states and prevalence of AMR bacteria in milk traded by them. Training may be a beneficial strategy for addressing the issue.

Keywords

milk vendors; AMR; informal milk supply chain; food safety; milk hygiene; raw milk; antibiotics

Published in

Frontiers in sustainable food systems
2022, Volume: 6, article number: 1058384
Publisher: FRONTIERS MEDIA SA

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG3 Good health and well-being
    SDG2 Zero hunger

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Pathobiology
    Food Science

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2022.1058384

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/120574