This is a common question we get, based on a common misconception. We recently created a series of short videos to explain about this and some other concerns we hear about antibiotic use in the chicken industry. Check them out!
The first video in the series tackles the residue versus resistance question. Despite some information out there, chicken is not “full of antibiotics” and does not contain antibiotic residues.
This is because Canada has strict regulations on how much time passes between when an animal is last treated with antibiotics and when it is sent to the processing plant. It’s called a “withdrawal period” and it ensures that residues aren’t in the meat. Withdrawal periods are inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and there hasn’t been an issue with residues in chicken meat in Canada in decades.
So if you buy chicken labelled “Raised without the use of antibiotics” this means that no antibiotics were given to the chicken during its lifetime. But remember that all Canadian chicken is free of antibiotic residues.
Resistance is a different issue entirely, and that is explained in the second video.