Consumers across the United States are demanding meat and poultry raised without antibiotics—and large producers, restaurants, and other institutions are listening. Following is a list of some leading companies offering responsibly produced food.More info
Latest Foodborne Illnesses Show Links Between Farm Antibiotic Use and Resistant Bacteria in U.S. Poultry Supply
An ongoing outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg beginning in 2013 has sickened more than 480 people who consumed contaminated chicken, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The FDA collected Salmonella from chicken and CDC analyzed Salmonella from sick people. They found resistance to combinations of the following antibiotics: ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, kanamycin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline.
The CDC noted, "Antimicrobial resistance may increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals."
There is no publicly available information indicating which, if any, antibiotics were used to produce the chicken linked to these illnesses, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released some data that indicates such drugs are used to produce meat and poultry. Following is a drug-by-drug analysis based on FDA reports.
*Bacteria exposed to one antibiotic may develop resistance to other drugs. Using tetracyclines, for example, to produce chickens can contribute to the emergence of Salmonella that are resistant to ampicillin.
1 David Heymann, Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 19th Edition (APHA Press, 2008).
2 Taradon Luangtongkum et al., “Effect of Conventional and Organic Production Practices on the Prevalence and Antimicrobial Resistance of Campylobacter spp. in Poultry,” Applied and Environmental Microbiology May 2006 vol. 72 no. 5 3600-3607.
Sources: Food and Drug Administration, “2011 Summary Report on Antimicrobials”; U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Food Animal Residue Avoidance Database”; Food and Drug Administration, “Retail Meat Annual Report, 2011”; David Heymann, Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 19th Edition (APHA Press, 2008)
- Date added:
- Oct 16, 2013
Surveys of the animal production industry by the U.S. Department of Agriculture demonstrate that many farms and ranches administer antibiotics to healthy animals at low doses to offset overcrowding and poor sanitation and to accelerate livestock growth—practices that the medical and public health communities document as a significant factor in human antibiotic resistance. In 2013, FDA took steps to address these concerns.
Chris Linaman, executive chef at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, WA, is dedicated to creating a more sustainable food system by supporting growers and producers who raise food without the routine use of antibiotics that endanger the public’s health. Working in partnership with Health Care Without Harm and Overlake’s administration, Chris has created a comprehensive sustainable food purchasing policy for Overlake Hospital that has resulted in many impressive achievements in just a short time.More info
Two former FDA commissioners – David Kessler (1990-1997) and Donald Kennedy (1977-1979) – wrote to OMB Director Sylvia Matthews Burwell urging her to take action on antibiotics in agricultural feed.More info
SuperChefs Against Superbugs, an initiative of the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming, is a movement of chefs nationwide who have expressed their support of ending the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in food animal production. As a result, the SuperChefs are urging the Food and Drug Administration to strengthen its antibiotic policies.More info