Are consumers actually eating antibiotics in chicken?

No – Consumers should be confident that chicken is free of antibiotic residues. That’s because a certain amount of time must pass from when an animal is last treated with antibiotics until it is processed. This is known as a withdrawal period, and it ensures that the drug has been metabolized by the body and no residues remain in the meat. This is monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and over 99.8% of chicken samples taken in 2012/2013 contained no residues. You can rest assured that you are not eating antibiotics in your chicken.

Federal regulations (CFIA Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures, Chapter 19, section 3.4.2) require chicken farmers to report antibiotics that have been used for each flock prior to the birds being processed. CFIA veterinarians verify these reports to determine that antibiotics were used as per their label or with a veterinary prescription and that the antibiotics are being used at the appropriate dosage for the appropriate application. Any product failing this investigation is not allowed on the market. Additionally, as part of the annual on-farm food safety audit, auditors review the antibiotic usage and ensure withdrawal times are adhered to.