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Poult Sci. 2003 Apr;82(4):618-21.

Antibiotic residues in poultry tissues and eggs: human health concerns?

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Department of Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701, USA.


Antibiotics are used by the poultry industry to enhance the health and productivity of flocks. The use of antimicrobials is strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA to warrant their safety and efficacy. Prior to regulatory approval, the pharmacokinetics and tissue tolerances of an antimicrobial are determined to set the proper dosage. To ensure proper use, both the FDA and USDA have research, surveillance, and compliance programs to develop detection methods and monitor poultry tissues for antimicrobials. Unfortunately, there is the perception among many consumers that our food supply contains high concentrations of drug or hormone residues causing significant health concerns or problems. In fact, foods produced in this country (including poultry) are very safe and meet the highest standards to exclude chemical contaminants. An overview will be presented on the federal oversight and monitoring of antimicrobial residues in poultry tissues.

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