Should you be worried about antibiotics in the meat you buy for your family? Teresa Brandenburg, a cattle farmer from Alton, Kansas, shares her story about the responsibility that comes with raising healthy, safe beef for our tables. To find out more about Teresa and her family farm, click here.
- Should I be concerned about antibiotics in my meat?
- The FDA does not allow meat to be sold with traces of antibiotics above strict safety limits. The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) performs scheduled, but random, testing of meat nationwide. According to FDA and FSIS regulations, livestock antibiotic use requires specific withdrawal times, or a set number of days that must pass between the last antibiotic treatment and the animal entering the food supply. This ensures the drugs have sufficiently cleared an animal’s system.
- Why are antibiotics given to livestock?
- According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), U.S. farmers and ranchers must maintain good animal care, which includes making sure animals are healthy; comfortable; well nourished; safe; able to express the natural behaviors of their species; and not experiencing pain, fear and distress. According to AVMA, banning or severely restricting the use of antimicrobials in animals would negatively impact a veterinarian’s ability to protect animal health and prevent suffering from disease, which can lead to poor welfare.
- Healthy animals provide healthy food. The judicious use of antibiotics helps prevent and control disease. This reduces the risk of unhealthy animals entering our food supply, according to FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.
- Is human health impacted by eating meat from animals given antibiotics?
- “The judicious use of all drugs in animals, particularly food-producing animals, is very important. The use of medicated feeds in food-producing animals is evaluated and regulated to prevent harmful effects on both animal and human health,” said Steven D. Vaughn, D.V.M., director of the Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation in FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.