Foster Farms, a major U.S. poultry producer and the subject of “The Trouble with Chicken” — a recent Frontline investigation about the shortcomings of the country’s food safety system — has announced that it will begin eliminating human antibiotics in its poultry. The transition will be independently audited.
The widespread use of human antibiotics to treat livestock has been repeatedly warned against by the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization, which have linked the practice to the spread of drug-resistant bugs and bacteria.
Foster Farms will also introduce a new line of organic poultry, responding to consumer interest in more widespread access to organic groceries, especially meat products.
As a result of the Frontline documentary, legislators recently pushed two food safety bills: the Meat and Poultry Recall Notification Act, which would give the USDA mandatory recall authority over contaminated products, and the Pathogen Reduction and Testing Reform Act, which would require the USDA to recall any meat, poultry, or egg product that contained bacteria or viruses that could cause serious illness or death, or any that were resistant to antibiotics.