Special Report

Antibiotics in Foods: Everything You Need to Know

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Organic chicken can have higher levels of bacteria

Although organic meats are raised without the use of antibiotics, some studies have shown that organic chicken can contain higher levels of bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Enterococcus. All of these bacteria can be killed by proper cooking, but not sanitized surfaces and dishes may still spread the bacteria.

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Decline in dairy residue levels

From 1994 to 2015, the amount of milk samples evaluated by the FDA containing beta-lactam antibiotics — the most common drugs used on dairy farms — fell from 0.15% to 0.014%.

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Ionophores as safe alternatives

Ionophores are a class of antibiotics that is considered non-therapeutic and is not used in human medicine. Used solely as feed additives to increase the efficiency of animal digestion, ionophores are considered a safe alternative to medically important antibiotics because they have not been shown to contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistant bacteria.