The Importance of Antibiotic Testing on Farms


Antibiotic resistance is a current Global health problem. It is something that farmers have been contributing to inadvertently, if their contaminated milk enters the food chain.

The use of antibiotics in agriculture has contributed to certain bacteria developing resistance as a result of their exposure to low level (sub-lethal) doses. This leads to antibiotics becoming ineffective when we need them.

To ensure food safety, farmers need to identify the presence of antibiotics in produce, including milk, early on.

Generally, the use of antibiotics in UK dairy farming is controlled but using antibiotic test strips is an effective way of reducing the risk of contaminated milk entering the food chain.

Along with the long-term threat from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, some consumers are allergic to antibiotics, which means any traces in the food chain could cause serious health issues.

There is also a reputational issue at stake. With plenty of dairy alternatives on the shelves, and increasing numbers of younger people turning away from dairy products, farmers must work hard to make their products attractive, and relevant.

Ensuring absolute standards in food quality and safety will support their efforts in doing this.

Making Testing Easier for Farmers

Technology is making the process of testing for antibiotics easier, faster and more accurate. The Charm EZ Lite Reader is perfect for the farm environment, being portable, user-friendly and hardwearing.

What is a Charm EZ Lite Reader and How Can it Help on the Farm?

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The Charm EZ Lite Reader is a portable piece of equipment, used to detect the presence of antibiotic drugs in milk. The Charm EZ Lite is used with the Charm ROSA antibiotic test strips, it incubates, reads and records the results for downloading at your convenience.

ROSA stands for Rapid One Step Away, and is a family of quality assurance tests, which represents the global standard for this type of testing.

For farmers, testing for antibiotics is becoming a necessity, and the portable Charm EZ Lite reader is the perfect solution for carrying out testing in the farm environment.

How the Charm EZ Lite Reader Works

The reader works with Charm antibiotic test strips. These are rapid residue detection tests.

Antibiotic test strips are designed for testing milk, using a simple lateral flow format.

The strips will detect residues of various antibiotic groups, including Beta Lactam, Tetracycline, Streptomycin, Quinolone and Floraphenicol and others.

The strips are inserted into the EZ Lite Reader, milk is then added then the unit incubates, reads and records the result.

What the Charm EZ Lite Reader offers is a rapid, portable solution that will enable farmers to test milk quickly, without disrupting essential dairy production processes.

Furthermore, this data is exportable, to a PC or printer, enabling farmers to keep up to date, detailed records of the detection of antibiotics in milk. This can be used in tracking individual cows drug retention periods.

The reader’s user interface works in such a way that non-experts can also operate it and record samples.

It provides details of the date, sample, the operator, the reading itself and whether it is positive or negative.

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