ANIMAL ANTIBIOTICS AND
How animal treatment supports a
reliable and safe food supply
U.S. FOOD AND DRUG
Antibiotics are only prescribed by veterinarians to animals
when they are sick. Veterinarians and farmers follow FDA
guidelines to administer these medications.
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.
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
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
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.