What does “antibiotic free” meat mean?
Perhaps you have noticed “antibiotic free” or “raised without antibiotics” labels on meat and poultry in the grocery store.
However, experts say these labels are misleading. All meat and poultry sold in the United States is free of antibiotics, as required by federal law.
To address the label confusion, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that it is evaluating how to better regulate food labels like “no antibiotics ever” or “raised without antibiotics” on meat and poultry.
In the meantime, consumers also have a role to play in protecting food safety. To ensure that meat and poultry products are safe to eat, cook meat and poultry to USDA recommended safe temperatures.
A recent University of Nebraska study found that cooking ground beef to proper food-safe temperatures is more effective at limiting our exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria than choosing meat labeled “raised without antibiotics.”
If you have questions about food safety at home, visit fightbac.org.
To learn more about how farmers work to ensure meat quality, food safety and farm animal care, visit “Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Meat.”