Partners in Antibiotic Resistance and Food Safety

Preventing the spread of foodborne infections from resistant bacteria is not easy. The CDC works closely with a number of partners who play complementary roles in antibiotic resistance to address this important issue, including federal agencies, state and local health departments, the food industry, healthcare providers, and academia. The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) is a US public health surveillance system that tracks antimicrobial resistance in foodborne and other enteric bacteria.

Partners in Antibiotic Resistance and Food Safety
Partners in Antibiotic Resistance and Food Safety
Humans Retail Meats Food-Producing Animals
Who is involved?
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)


  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)*
State agencies and academic institutions
  • Health departments in all 50 states
  • Health departments in 14 states
  • Universities in 6 states
Where do the samples that are tested come from? Ill persons Retail meats from grocery stores
  • Chicken
  • Ground turkey
  • Ground beef
  • Pork
Farm animals
  • Chickens
  • Turkeys
  • Cattle
  • Swine
What bacteria does NARMS test for resistance†?
  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter
  • Escherichia coli
  • Enterococcus
  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter
  • Escherichia coli
  • Enterococcus
Where can I find more information? CDC NARMS FDA NARMSexternal icon USDA NARMSexternal icon

During outbreaks, CDC also tests leftover foods found in outbreak patient homes.

*USDA NARMS agencies include the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Each USDA NARMS agency tests bacterial samples taken from food-producing animals at different stages of production. For more information, visit the USDA NARMSexternal icon website.
NARMS tests bacteria from sporadic cases and outbreaks of illness for resistance to 22 antibiotic agents that are in 13 classes of drugs.
Most Escherichia coli and Enterococcus do not cause human illness, but antibiotic resistance in these bacteria can be transferred to other bacteria that can make people sick.