Veterinary Drug Residues in Beef, Chicken, and Egg from Ghana


The use of veterinary drugs on farm animals has the potential of generating drug residues in edible animal products that may affect public health. Veterinary drug residues in 144 samples including beef, chicken, and egg were measured using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography in tandem with a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. Sixty-three percent of the samples had quantifiable multiple detections of veterinary drug residues. The mean amounts of the tetracyclines (tetracycline, oxytetracycline, and chlortetracycline) residues in the samples were 81.35 μg/kg, 76.94 μg/kg, and 234.43 μg/kg, respectively. The mean β-lactam (amoxicillin, cefazolin, and penicillin G) residues were 35.76 μg/kg, 47.02 μg/kg, and 41.02 μg/kg respectively. The mean residues of the sulphonamides (sulfamethoxazole, sulfadoxine, and sulfathiazole) were 103.98 μg/kg, 46.05 μg/kg, and 68.63 μg/kg respectively. The mean fluoroquinolone (enrofloxacin) concentration was 30.19 μg/kg. The mean residue concentrations of salbutamol, erythromycin, prednisone, ketoprofen, and haloperidol were 6.32, 77.18, 23.66, 14.94, and 9.62 μg/kg respectively. The exposure estimations conducted on residues whose concentrations exceeded their maximum residue limits shows that consumers are at risk of acute exposure to tetracycline in egg, and cefazolin, penicillin G, sulphamethoxazole, salbutamol, prednisone, and haloperidol which may be injurious to the health and wellbeing.

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Correspondence to Cheetham Lawrence Mingle.

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Mingle, C.L., Darko, G., Borquaye, L.S. et al. Veterinary Drug Residues in Beef, Chicken, and Egg from Ghana. Chemistry Africa (2021).

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  • Maximum residue limit
  • Multi-drug residue analysis
  • Global estimate of acute dietary exposure
  • Global estimate for chronic dietary exposure