Are Antibiotics in my Food? - Food Dialogues

Are Antibiotics in my Food?

Due to the use of antibiotics in animals and on farms and ranches, some people are concerned about the safety of food. It is important to know that meat, poultry and milk are rigorously monitored by law. Meat, poultry and milk for human consumption must pass inspection and monitoring by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Additionally, in 1996, the federal government established the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), a collaborative effort between the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an “early warning” system to track any resistant bacteria in humans, animals and retail meats.

Farmers and ranchers are diligent in following specific withdrawal periods to ensure animals are free of any antibiotics before entering the food system.

Chris Chinn, a hog farmer from Missouri and add her new title, “We are required to log all antibiotic use on our farm. This means if we use an antibiotic on a pig or a sow, we have to record the date, medication given, dose and withdrawal length. We are audited by the plant that purchases our hogs, and they inspect these records a couple times a year. They also review my feed records to see what we feed our hogs. They want to make sure they are purchasing a healthy hog from me.” You can read more about her story here.

Farmers and ranchers are committed to providing safe food and healthy choices for everyone. During the past several decades, farmers and ranchers have been dedicated to continuously working to improve their processes so Americans can have one of the safest food supplies in the world. Add they are also more interested than ever in listening to and communicating with consumers.