A Pennsylvania diary farm has agreed to keep illegal drug residues out of animals sold for human consumption.

The H.B . Williams Inc. dairy farm, located near Kingsley, PA, has agreed to abide by federal regulations that protect meat from illegal drug residues caused by the unapproved use of animal drugs in cattle before slaughter.

The agreement was reached in the form of a consent decree of permanent injunction, which was obtained by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Dairy owners, Donna L. Williams, Jeffrey D. Williams, and Mark H. Williams entered into the consent decree with FDA July 26 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The dairy farm is not permitted under the agreement to sell animals for food unless and until it meets several requirements, including establishment of a recordkeeping system approved by the FDA to track the identity of medicated animals and the drugs and dosages given.  

After the farm resumes selling animals for food, the decree authorizes the FDA to require the farm to cease operations and pay fines if FDA determines that the farm has violated the decree.

The FDA is concerned about the sale of animals for human food that may contain illegal levels of animal drugs because of the potential for adverse effects on human health.

The FDA approves new animal drugs with requirements, including a specified time period to withdraw an animal from treatment prior to slaughter, to ensure that a drug has been depleted from edible tissue to a level safe for humans.

The dairy farm sold animals through local livestock auctions to slaughterhouses that ship beef products to customers in New Jersey, New York, Maine, and Michigan.

The drug residues detected in tissue samples of the farm’s dairy cows and veal calves during tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service included antibiotics such as neomycin, flunixin, desfuroylceftiofur, and sulfamethazine at levels not permitted by the FDA.

U.S. District Judge James M. Munley signed the agreement.