Food animal production is an important part of agriculture. It includes beef, dairy, poultry, and pork. Advances in animal breeding, genetics, and health have increased the quality, safety and quantity of animal protein available to consumers, an important source of protein in the human diet.
For more than 50 years, veterinarians, farmers and ranchers have given antibiotics to food animals, primarily poultry, pigs, and cattle, mostly to treat or prevent animal diseases. The following resources provide information about antibiotic use in animals, and answer questions about why antibiotics are used in food animals and how animal antibiotics are regulated. These resources address questions about when and how often animal antibiotics are used in food animals, as well as requirements that are currently in place to minimize the overall risk to human health.
The process for eliminating antibiotic residues in animal food products, such as meat, milk, and eggs is also discussed and several credible resources (such as health, scientific, and government groups) are listed to provide information on animal antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance as they relate to food safety.
Animal Agriculture Resources:
Questions and Answers: Animal Antibiotics, Antimicrobial Resistance, and Impact on Food Safety
Animal Antibiotics and Food Safety: What You Should Know
Fact Sheet: FDA's Approval Process for Food Animal Antibiotics
Questions and Answers about “Boar Taint” and Pork Quality
Food Biotechnology Resource Page
Other Related Links:
U.S. Food & Drug Administration, FDA takes steps to protect public health
FDA, Animal Veterinary Guidance Documents resource page
FDA, Guidance for Industry #209: The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals
Use Estimates on In-Feed Antimicrobials in Swine Production in the United States
FDA, Guidance for Industry: Evaluating the Safety of Antimicrobial New Animal Drugs with Regard to Their Microbiological Effects on Bacteria of Human Health Concern
CDC, Healthcare-Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HA-MRSA) - CDC
FDA, 2004 FSIS National Residue Program
FDA, 2003 FSIS National Residue Program Data
IFT Antimicrobial Resistance: Challenges and Perspectives 2012
IFT Expert Report: Antimicrobial Resistance – Implications for the Food System 2006
IFIC Foundation, “Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety Risks”
IFIC Foundation, “Ensuring A Safe Food Supply: A Concise Guide to the U.S. Food Regulatory System”
Partnership for Food Safety Education