Ann Arbor-based global public health organization NSF International has developed an independent certification pool protocol to certify animal products have been raised without exposure to antibiotics. The new Raised Without Antibiotics certification will help consumers identify products that do not contribute to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
NSF International’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification can be granted to any animal products, including meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, leather, and certain supplement ingredients. The designation provides independent verification of on-package claims and is currently the only “raised without antibiotics” certification that covers all animal products.
Developed in partnership with the food animal industry and veterinary stakeholders, NSF’s protocol cannot be earned if an animal receives antibiotics, though ionophore chemical coccidiostats can be used to fight infections because they’re not considered contributors to antibiotic resistance. The program also encourages preventative measures including vaccination, alternative treatments, litter management techniques, and appropriate stocking density to maintain the health and welfare of animals.
“A growing number of consumers are concerned about the widespread development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the use of antibiotics in food production,” says Sarah Krol, global managing director of food safety product certification for NSF International. “NSF International’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification gives consumers an easy way to identify animal products that have been raised without exposure to antibiotics, which may help alleviate their concerns.”
This protocol follows a 2016 survey conducted by the company that found 59 percent of consumers prefer products from animals that have been raised without antibiotics, but there has not been an independent verification procedure for product claims until now.
Betagro Group in Thailand, a supplier of chicken to consumers in Asia and Europe, is the first company to earn NSF’s Raised Without Antibiotics certification.