Efficiency of risk-based vs. random sampling for the monitoring of tetracycline residues in slaughtered calves in Switzerland

Presi, P and Staerk, K D C and Knopf, L and Breidenbach, E and Sanaa, M and Frey, J and Regula, G (2008) Efficiency of risk-based vs. random sampling for the monitoring of tetracycline residues in slaughtered calves in Switzerland. Food Additives and Contaminants, 25 (5). pp. 566-573.

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Abstract

In all European Union countries, chemical residues are required to be routinely monitored in meat. Good farming and veterinary practice can prevent the contamination of meat with pharmaceutical substances, resulting in a low detection of drug residues through random sampling. An alternative approach is to target-monitor farms suspected of treating their animals with antimicrobials. The objective of this project was to assess, using a stochastic model, the efficiency of these two sampling strategies. The model integrated data on Swiss livestock as well as expert opinion and results from studies conducted in Switzerland. Risk-based sampling showed an increase in detection efficiency of up to 100% depending on the prevalence of contaminated herds. Sensitivity analysis of this model showed the importance of the accuracy of prior assumptions for conducting risk-based sampling. The resources gained by changing from random to risk-based sampling should be transferred to improving the quality of prior information.