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Advocates Ask Foster Farms About Antibiotics Use

More than 30 advocate groups sent a letter to Foster Farms CEO Ron Foster this week asking the company to disclose its use of antibiotics and pledge to avoid routine use of the drugs in raising its chickens.

This comes after a Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 416 was linked to the company’s products.

Concerned that many of the outbreaks strains found in patients were resistant to one or more commonly prescribed antibiotics, the signatories – including the Center for Food Safety, the Natural Resource Defense Council, and the Humane Society of the United States – want to see more transparency about how Foster Farms chickens are raised.

“The spread of drug resistant bacteria throughout our communities and kitchens has threatened our health and contributed to the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance,” reads the letter.

It goes on to say that Foster Farms can “help regain its credibility” by publishing a detailed description of the antibiotics the company uses in raising chickens, committing to using antibiotics responsibly, and verifying its progress through third-party audits.

© Food Safety News
  • Country Girl

    I wonder if these advocacy groups understand that without the widespread use of antibiotics, the cost of chicken would increase dramatically? Cheap chicken requires high density stocking, mechanization, confinement, and thus increased disease. It also requires the raising of hybrid chickens that have freakishly fast growth rates, and as such are not healthy creatures with strong immune systems. They are delicate, and require antibiotics to keep them alive long enough to butcher. It is not Foster Farms to blame for the proliferation of salmonella,et al, it is the consumer demand for cheap. In our community, we have a pastured chicken farmer. His birds are clean, healthy, antibiotic free, and humanely raised. And the production cost is about 5x that of Foster Farms. People freak out at the price, and off they run to Foster Farms to get their $.79/lb chicken.

  • Country Girl

    We vote with our dollars. Stop buying Foster Farms chickens. Stop patronizing fast food and restaurants that sell industrial chicken, and then watch them either change their practices or go out of business. We are not victims. We have choice. But consumers can’t have both “cheap” and “quality”. Our society is largely choosing cheap and then we are shocked by the poor quality.