A total of 270 animal-originated foods purchased from markets, including milk and dairy products, fresh and processed meat products, and poultry and poultry products, were analysed to determine the prevalence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). VRE were isolated from 12 out of 270 samples (4.4%): 6 (6%) from fresh meat and meat products and 6 (8.6%) from poultry and poultry products. VRE strains were identified as Enterococcus faecium (6 strains), E. avium (4 strains), E. durans (1 strain) and E. gallinarum (1 strain). Among these strains, 11 had high levels of vancomycin resistance (2 E. faecium strains had minimum inhibitory concentrations [MICs] equivalent to 64 mu g/mL and the others had MICs of >= 256 mu g/mL), while the remaining 1 E. faecium had intermediate levels of vancomycin resistance (MIC = 12 mu g/mL). In addition to vancomycin, all of the VRE strains were also resistant to one or more antibiotics, including teicoplanin, ampicillin, penicillin, ciprofloxacin and tetracycline.