Plastics provide tremendous societal benefits and are an indispensable part of our lives. However, fragmented plastics or those intentionally manufactured in small sizes (microplastics or nanoplastics) are of concern because they can infiltrate soils and enter the human food chain through trophic transfer. The pathophysiological impacts of micro/nanoplastics in humans are not characterized but their effects in terrestrial mammals may help elucidate their potential effects in human beings. Rodent studies have demonstrated that micro/nanoplastics can breach the intestinal barrier, accumulate in various organs, cause gut dysbosis, decrease mucus secretion, induce metabolic alterations, and cause neurotoxicity, amongst other pathophysiologic effects. Larger mammals such as rabbits can also absorb microplastics orally. In farm animals such as chicken, microplastics have been detected in the gut, thereby raising food safety concerns. This review mostly focuses on studies conducted to assess effects of micro/nanoplastic exposure through food and water in terrestrial mammals and farm animals including rodents, rabbit and chicken, identifies main knowledge gaps, and provides recommendations for further research to understand food-borne MP/NP toxicity in humans.

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