The scale of food production in the 21st century to feed an ever growing population is a huge undertaking and impossible without adequate protection. The use of antibiotics in the feeding of animals is also growing.

That is why the widespread use of antibiotics to such an enormous extent causes their residues, along with animal faeces and meat, to end up in the human life environment. Their widespread presence causes that microorganisms (bacteria, fungi) to learn how to survive in their presence and become antibiotic resistant.

This in turn impacts on the human population in that there is a buildup of resistance to antibiotics both in animals and humans.

This presents huge problems in the controlling of diseances in the human population.

Antibiotics in food are a thing of the past

Antibiotic resistance of pathogenic microorganisms that are harmful to humans causes that in the human environment there are microorganisms against which there is no way to fight.

This is especially true in hospitals where indestructible bacteria are killing more and more people.

Antibiotics in food its already THE PAST

European Union, from 2022, prohibits the prophylactic (preventive) use of antibiotics in animal husbandry

EU bans prophylactic use of antibiotics in farming

The European Parliament has (25 October 2018) approved new legislation to come into force in 2022, banning the prophylactic use of antibiotics in farming.

  • to limit the formation of new strains of bacteria that cannot be combated
  • to limit the number of fatalities of the action of such "indestructible" pharmacologically Bacteria

The FDA (American Food&Drug Administration) has been monitoring the content of antibiotics in food for over 15 years, through extensive efforts to minimize the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry. Strict regulations on the use of antibiotics have been in place since the 1980s. The growing problem of antibiotic resistance caused the launch of the world's first monitorin program. Year after year, more and more restrictive regulations on the use of antibiotics in industrial animal husbandry are being implemented. in 1996 the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) was launched. And step by step we are approaching the ban on the use of antibiotics, and at the beginning of the prophylactic use as well.

Short calendar:

  • 1980's - All new medically important antibiotics have been approved with veterinary oversight
  • 1996 - Together with two other federal partners (USDA and CDC), CVM established the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) program. Since 1996, the program has undergone several enhancements. For example, NARMS revised its animal sampling structure in 2013 to obtain more representative animal data on all four target organisms under surveillance (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus).
  • 1997 - Prohibited extralabel use of fluoroquinolones and glycopeptides (FR Doc No: 97-13677). Note: While other countries approved the glycopeptide, avoparcin, for use in food-producing animals, this class was never approved or marketed for such uses in the U.S.
  • 2012 - Prohibited certain extralabel uses of cephalosporins (FR Doc No: 2012-35 [Final Rule]; Docket ID: FDA-2008-N-0326). Note: 4th generation cephalosporins have never been approved for use in food-producing animals in the U.S.
  • 2016 - Announced a funding opportunity for antimicrobial use and resistance data collection. These collection efforts are intended to provide part of the baseline information on antimicrobial use practices in the four major food-producing animal groups (cattle, swine, chickens, and turkeys), a critical element in measuring overall impact of the agency’s judicious use strategy. We also expect the data collection efforts to provide important information on methodologies to help optimize long-term strategies for collecting and reporting such data.
  • 2016 - Approved the first alternative to an antimicrobial drug, Imrestor. Imrestor was also the first animal drug for use in food-producing animals simultaneously reviewed and approved in both the United States and Canada.
  • 2017 - Launched Resistome Tracker, an interactive research and data visualization tool for antibiotic resistance genes.

Antibiotic Free Meats: What Are They, and Why Do They Matter?

European Union, from 2022, prohibits the prophylactic (preventive) use of antibiotics in animal husbandry

  • to limit the formation of new strains of bacteria that cannot be combated
  • to limit the number of fatalities of the action of such „indestructible” pharmacologically Bacteria

The Use of Antibiotics in Animals

It is estimated that of all the antibiotics used in the United States, 80% are given to agricultural animals. Antibiotics are used unnecessarily in these animals to promote growth, or to prevent diseases that result from animal overcrowding and unhygienic living conditions. Concern about the growing level of drug-resistant bacteria has led to the banning and reduction of such sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in food animals in many countries in the European Union and Canada. However, in the United States, this practice remains legal.

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a global health concern that results in strains of bacteria that do not respond to standard antibiotic treatment, and can result in severe-life threatening illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the use of low doses of non-therapeutic antibiotics in animal agriculture “contributes to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food-producing animals. These resistant bacteria can contaminate the foods that come from those animals, and persons who consume these foods can develop antibiotic-resistant infections.” Antibiotic resistant bacteria can also be transmitted through the environment and water supply. The CDC reports that each year 2 million people are infected and 23,000 people will die from antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Important question, are antibiotics that bad? Yes and no. Antibiotics, in both animals and humans, are used to treat illnesses and can be used effectively. But the overuse of antibiotics means they’re becoming less effective and that has led to the emergence of superbugs, strains of bacteria or fungus that have developed resistance to common medications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are nearly three million drug-resistant infections every year.

The drug-resistant gene that can cause superbugs is often found on the cell structure called a plasmid, which is able to move from bacteria to bacteria and between species. That means that affected plasmids can transfer between animal and human cells as we ingest their meat, and they can encourage the development or growth of bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics that either we or the animals are taking.

The problem is with the prophylactic (preventive) use of antibiotics in animal husbandry.

Until there is a governmental ban on this practice, we can all help by supporting farming practices that are sustainable, support a healthy environment, and that do not harm our communities. This includes purchasing meats that have been raised without the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics. But how do you know which product to choose with so many different labels and health claims on foods?

For example, the American food supply is among the safest in the world, but people can still get food poisoning by eating contaminated foods. Some food poisoning is caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Symptoms of infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria are like other food poisoning symptoms, which can be mild to life-threatening and include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Antibiotics are medicines that kill or stop the growth of bacteria. Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria develop the ability to survive or grow despite being exposed to antibiotics designed to kill them.

Antibiotics save lives, but any time antibiotics are used, they can contribute to the development and spread of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance spreads to bacteria through people, animals, and the environment. Improving antibiotic use, including reducing unnecessary use, can help stop resistance from spreading.

Learn what CDC is doing to help stop antibiotic-resistant infections from food and animals, and how you can protect yourself and your family.

Antibiotic Resistance and Food Poisoning

If bacteria that cause food poisoning are antibiotic resistant, some antibiotics might not effectively treat the illness, which can lead to more costly treatments and higher risks for side effects.

People with symptoms of mild food poisoning usually do not need antibiotics to get better. However, people with severe infection may need to see a doctor, take antibiotics, or be hospitalized.

Mild symptoms may include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Severe symptoms include:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • High fever (temperature over 39°F, measured by mouth)
  • Frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down (which can lead to dehydration)
  • Signs of dehydration, including little or no urination, a very dry mouth and throat, or feeling dizzy when standing up
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days

Who Is at Higher Risk for Food Poisoning

Those at higher risk include adults aged 65 and older, children younger than 5 years, people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness, and pregnant women. These groups are at risk for severe symptoms or complications from food poisoning, including illnesses caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Food and Food Animals

Animals, like people, carry bacteria in their guts. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria present in the guts of animals can get in food in several ways:

  • When animals are slaughtered and processed for food, resistant bacteria can contaminate meat or other animal products.
  • Animal feces/excrement (poop) can contain resistant bacteria and get into the surrounding environment.
  • Fruits and vegetables can get contaminated through contact with soil, water, or fertilizer that contains animal feces/excrement.

Transmission of Antibiotic-Resistant Intestinal Infections to People

People can get antibiotic-resistant intestinal infections by handling or eating contaminated food or coming in contact with animal waste (poop), either through direct contact with animals and animal environments or through contaminated drinking or swimming water. Infections can also spread between people.

In recent years, CDC has investigated many multistate outbreaks caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These outbreaks have been linked to contaminated food and contact with farm animals, pets, and pet food and treats.

How to get the Antibiotic free meat,

Firstbale, READ the label. Start looking for food from safe sources. Clearly marked. You must know how it was made, the label must clearly show its origin.

Food certified, full chain auditing programs from producer to seller. But the most important thing is THIS manufacturer who cares about quality and does not use antibiotics.

Ask about our partners in the AviLact PROGRAM and poultry farmers in the AviLact Program.

When shopping for meat (mainly poultry meat), look for the following certifications:

  • Certified Organic
  • Antibiotic Free
  • GMO Free
  • GMP Plus
  • Animal Welfare Approved
  • Certified Humane

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