Oversight of Antibiotic Use in Food Producing Animals

Farmers and ranchers are committed to keeping the animals in their care safe and healthy. They maintain herd health with proper housing, hygiene, vaccinations and antibiotics. They work closely with veterinarians to ensure the antibiotics they use are safe and effective.

Antibiotics approved for use in animals must undergo the same FDA testing as those required for human consumption. Additionally, they must be tested to make sure the meat and milk produced from animals that have been treated with the antibiotics is safe for human consumption. All milk is strictly tested for antibiotics on farms and in processing plants. Any milk that tests positive is prohibited from being sold for human consumption. All livestock animals must undergo an approved waiting period after antibiotics have been administered before being processed to ensure the antibiotics have cleared the animal’s system. In meat and poultry plants, USDA inspectors sample carcasses and organs to ensure no residue violations are found and 99 percent of those samples come back negative.