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Animal Antibiotics—Are There Antibiotics in Your Meat?

partnered guest post

One of the most controversial topics in the food industry over the last decade has been about antibiotics in meat. The fact that animals receive antibiotics is well-known, but for some reason, there has been a lot of confusion surrounding whether those antibiotics make it into our meat or not.

The debate over whether antibiotic treated animals produce meat that is safe for human consumption is centered around antibiotic resistant bacteria, which could have huge implications to public health. Fortunately, there are safeguards in place to keep the meat we eat safe and free of unsafe drug residues that could lead to antibiotic resistance.

Animal Antibiotics said it best when they said, “…meat that comes from an animal that has been treated with antibiotics is safe to eat.” The meat we eat is safe, because farmers and veterinarians are required to follow mandatory withdrawal periods to give the antibiotics time to leave the animal’s body before processing. No animal can be processed prior to the end of the withdrawal period, which prevents antibiotics from passing into the meat we eat.

The Department of Agriculture and food companies in the United States routinely test meat, eggs, and milk to ensure that they are free of antibiotics. This means that there are no antibiotics in meat that we consume.

The FDA’s approval process for antibiotics and other drugs for animals is also rigorous. Studies are conducted to make sure that any medications given to food producing animals is safe for human consumption and that no antibiotics in meat are present after processing. These studies help establish appropriate withdrawal periods for drugs and evaluate the potential for antibiotic-resistant bacteria to develop.

Farmers are only allowed to give animals antibiotics that are medically necessary. This rule was established earlier this year by animal health companies is association with farmers, veterinarians, and the FDA. The rule was put in place to combat antibiotic resistance.

At the end of the day, all the food that makes it to your dinner table is not only delicious, but also completely safe to eat.