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Animal Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance

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How animal treatment supports a reliable and safe food supply

Published in: Food
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Animal Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance

  1. 1. ANIMAL ANTIBIOTICS AND ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE How animal treatment supports a reliable and safe food supply U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) REGULATIONS Antibiotics are only prescribed by veterinarians to animals when they are sick. Veterinarians and farmers follow FDA guidelines to administer these medications.  WITHDRAWL PERIODS To ensure we do not consume meat or animal products that contain antibiotics, livestock and poultry must go through a withdrawal period after receiving antibiotics. The antibiotics must leave the animals' system before it goes to processing to produce any food products.  ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT BACTERIA Antibiotics given to animals will kill many bacteria, but sometimes resistant bacteria can survive and multiply. When animals are processed for food, these bacteria can contaminate the meat, other animal products or the environment. CAN ANTIBIOTIC- RESISTANT BACTERIA MAKE ME SICK? People can be exposed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria from animals by handling/eating raw or under-cooked food. Contact with animal stool or caring for animals are other routes of exposure.  FOOD SAFETY ALL THE WAY Safe food handling of meat, poultry and produce is a key step in avoiding contact with bacteria. Antibiotic-resistant or not, both can cause foodborne illness.  @foodinsight www.foodinsight.org

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