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Q: What does it mean when my chicken says it is antibiotic free?

A: You may have heard that some restaurants have pledged to serve antibiotic free chicken. You see chicken labels that boast it is antibiotic free. But, what does this mean to you as a consumer?

  • Flocks successfully raised on a “No Antibiotic Program” may carry the claim “Raised without Antibiotics” or “No Antibiotics Ever.”
  • A “No Antibiotic Program” is not a guarantee for producing disease-free chickens. It is a program with a goal to raise birds without antibiotics and label those chickens accordingly. However, if a chicken on a “No Antibiotic Program” required treatment with antibiotics, this is reflected on the package label.
  • Should a chicken require antibiotics during its life to treat or prevent disease, a withdrawal period is required prior to processing.

See Spotlight on Taste for more information about chicken and egg labeling.

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Grilled Chicken
Jill Kwasny

Registered Dietitian