Antibiotic Residues in Food: Extraction, Analysis, and Human Health Concerns

J Agric Food Chem. 2019 Jul 10;67(27):7569-7586. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b01334. Epub 2019 Jun 27.


The abundant use of antibiotics leads to antibiotic residues in frequently consumed foods. Residual antibiotics in food may have adverse effects on humans by directly causing disease via low-dose exposure and indirect harm via antibiotic resistance. However, the current methods for antibiotic extraction and analysis in food have not yet formed a uniform standard, and only a few data exist regarding the residual antibiotic condition in various types of foods. Hence, we review the literature since 2008 to summarize analytical methods and residue status of antibiotics in food. Then, we discuss the causes of antibiotic residues in food and the possible hazards to human health. We hope that the joint efforts of the scientific community and political circles will lead to the formation of a unified standard for the extraction and analysis of antibiotics in food, to allow for comprehensive monitoring of residual antibiotics and ensure human health.

Keywords: analysis; antibiotics; extraction; food; human health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Drug Residues / analysis*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Eggs / analysis
  • Fishes
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Meat / analysis
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Poultry Products / analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vegetables / chemistry


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents