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The acceptable maximum residues level (MRLs) for tetracyclines as recommended by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives are 200, 600, and 1200 μg/kg for the liver, muscles, and kidney, respectively .Quinolones or fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, oxolinic acid, flumequine, nalidixic acid, sarafloxacin, danofloxacin, orbifloxacin, marbofloxacin, gatofloxacin, and grepafloxacin) have been widely used in animal production and veterinary medicine for the treatment and prevention of diseases [17,18] and also in human beings .
Beef, chicken, and pork are the mostly common types of meat consumed in South Africa .
Sulphonamides are a group of synthetic antimicrobial with broad spectrum effects against most Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and protozoa .
Although some of the mean residues levels were below the permissible limits, the co-occurrence of multidrug residues in some of the samples calls for concern.
Antibiotics are commonly used in veterinary medicine, and subsequently drug residues may persist in foods derived from animals, which may pose adverse health effects for the consumer [1,2].
Enrofloxacin is known to be partially metabolized to ciprofloxacin in cattle, and ciprofloxacin achieves 25 to 35% of the concentration of the parent drug in blood .
Using antibiotics such ciprofloxacin for prophylaxis and the treatment of chicken and beef is authorised .
Human exposure to significant levels of antibiotic residues from animal products may aggravate immunological responses in susceptible individuals and negatively affect intestinal microbiota .
Generally, consumption of meat (especially red meat) in South Africa was estimated to be 25.73 kg/person/year and 29.69 kg/person/year for white meat in 2007–2008 .
Tetracycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat a variety of infections and is also used as a growth promoter in animals.
About 60% of an ingested dose of oxytetracycline is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and widely distributed in the body, particularly to liver, kidney, bones, and teeth .