Question: Are There Antibiotics in Meat? Featured in the Toronto Star and Metro Toronto

Oct 3, 2016Media

As a dietitian and nutrition & food writer, I often get asked questions about farming. One of the most common questions I am asked is, “Are there antibiotics in meat?”
In other words, “Is the meat I buy safe to eat?”

I asked my question to Andrea Veldhuizen, a Chicken Farmer from the Niagara Region in Ontario. Featured in today’s Toronto Star and Metro Toronto newspapers, here is the answer from Andrea below:


A close-up of my question in the newspaper for Andrea Veldhuizen, Chicken Farmer from the Niagara Region. See below for the whole article.

In case the text is too small to read, I have written it here too:

Q: Are there antibiotics in meat?

I’m curious and and (admittedly) a bit confused about the labels around antibiotics and food lately. I figured the best place to start is to ask a farmer why they even use antibiotics.
Michelle Jaelin, Registered Dietitian, Toronto

A: It’s a simple question with lots of complicated answers.

I work hard caring for my animals, which includes keeping them healthy. A veterinarian can prescribe antibiotics if sick chickens need treatment, but that’s rare. If we do have to treat, we follow strict withdrawal times to ensure no residues are in our meat. My family eats the same food yours does and we take our commitment to caring for chickens and producing healthy, affordable food seriously.
Andrea Veldhuizen, Chicken Farmer, Niagara Region

The article by Owen Roberts features the story of fourth-generation dairy farmer, Tim May on farming in our tech-savvy world. For the farmer, there are no vacation days. Cows need to be milked twice per day, every day. This is in addition to feeding, maintaining the buildings they live in, cleaning up manure, and sometimes helping with birthing. One day they decide to take a trip to see family in Kingston, Ontario for 2 days leaving co-op student Steven in charge of the herd.

While on their trip, Tim receives a text message from Steven saying that one of the young moms was delivering her first calf.

With no time to turn around, Tim took to cell phone and used FaceTime to walk Steven through the steps of helping in the delivery of the new calf. Acting on Tim’s instructions, Steven followed through and helped in delivering the new calf, to which they named Precious!

The full story is in today’s Toronto Star and Metro Toronto newspapers.

As a registered dietitian, a regulated health professional with 5+ years of training to become licensed (in my case it took 8 years – but that is a blog post for another day), this is important to know for myself, my clients and the public. I stand for science, review the evidence and literature on nutrition science, food safety and impact on human health.

This week from October 3rd-9th 2016 is also Ontario Agricultural Week, celebrating local Ontario food! You can join the chat on social media with #loveONTfood. Any questions can also be asked with #loveONTfood, or you can tweet @FarmFoodCareON to have your questions on farming and agriculture answered!

Disclaimer: This blog post is not sponsored. My question and thoughts are genuine, and are meant to bring clarity to the public on farming and agriculture. As a registered dietitian, I stand for science, and hope readers learned something new from my writing and questions.

Meet Michelle

Welcome, I'm Michelle! I'm a TV and digital media registered dietitian and Asian cuisine content creator based out of Hamilton, ON Canada!


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