How to Get Antibiotic-Free Meat

What's Hot


The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

"Antibiotic-Free" is a phrase the USDA specifically says it has not authorized, so don't trust it.

Antibiotics used to prevent bacteria in meat are increasingly ineffective and the government should ban their use, Consumer Reports has argued. Because the bacteria are killed with proper cooking, there’s no reason to help them become a greater health risk.

“Since approximately 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used by the meat and poultry industry to make animals grow faster or to prevent disease in crowded and unsanitary conditions, both supermarkets and consumers can have a major impact on this problem through their purchasing decisions,” CR says.

In new research that examined 136 grocery stores in 23 states, the magazine has found that consumers have a lot of antibiotic-free options. Here’s what it found:

  • Some stores have many options. Whole Foods guarantees that all its meat and poultry is never treated with antibiotics. Giant, Hannaford, Shaw’s, and Stop & Shop also have a wide selection of meat raised without antibiotics.
  • Some have none. CR’s shoppers couldn’t find any antibiotic-free meat at Sam’s Club, Food 4 Less, Food Lion, or Save-A-Lot.
  • It’s not necessarily more expensive. When the national average price for chicken breasts was $3.17 per pound, CR found antibiotic-free chicken at QFC for $2.99 per pound and at Whole Foods (on sale) for $1.99 per pound. “The least expensive products without antibiotics were whole chickens at Publix and Jewel-Osco, and chicken drumsticks at several Trader Joe’s locations, all for $1.29 per pound,” CR says.
  • Labels are often confusing. Products labeled “USDA Organic” are trustworthy because they are verified by independent accredited certifiers. “USDA Process Verified” is also good alongside claims that no antibiotics were given, added or administered — wording varies — because it means the company paid to have the agency verify the claims it makes. “Natural” means the final product has no artificial ingredients or coloring, but by itself says nothing about antibiotics.
  • Some labels are misleading. “Antibiotic-Free” is a phrase the USDA specifically says it has not authorized, so don’t trust it. “No Antibiotic Residues” could mean the animal received antibiotics up until the last few weeks of its life, and isn’t a USDA-approved claim. “No Antibiotic Growth Promotants” could mean the animal received antibiotics to prevent disease, and isn’t a USDA-approved claim.

Is antibiotic-free meat available where you shop? Does it cost more? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 25 Ways to Spend Less on Food

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,897 more deals!