Questions and Answers
DO VEAL CALVES ROUTINELY RECEIVE ANTIBIOTICS?
The only time that veal calves receive "therapeutic" doses of antibiotics (levels high enough to treat illness) is when they are sick and recommended by a veterinarian. As soon as the animal recovers, the use of therapeutic medication is discontinued. Veal farmers, working with their veterinarian, employ specific, government-approved antibiotics to ward off disease. Health products approved for use with veal calves are painstakingly scrutinized by both the Food and Drug Administration and the manufacturer before being put on the market. The FDA also regulates the labeling of the product, the doses permitted, and the withdrawal period. Click here to learn more about antibiotic use and food safety.
Is veal inspected?
Yes. Trained government personnel conduct a visual inspection before and during processing. Animals with visible signs of health problems are held for further examination. Company plants also conduct additional practices such as steam pasteurization and rinses to ensure safe, quality meat.
WHAT ELSE IS BEING DONE ABOUT RESIDUES?
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service launched a new, more modern testing system in 2012 that allows the agency to test for dozens of drugs, pesticides, and other potentially harmful compounds simultaneously.
The change was a significant update to the extensive meat inspection program and underscores the efforts in place to provide safe food to the public.
Another promising initiative is an industry-wide quality assurance program. Under the program, individual producers can assure consumers that their products are residue-free based on strict compliance with good husbandry practices. Additionally, veal farmers work directly with a veterinarian to develop a comprehensive herd-health program which includes judicious use of antibiotics and other animal health products.
What effect does cooking have on foodborne bacteria?
Thoroughly cooking meat, poultry, and eggs, and following the basic safe food handlings and kitchen sanitation practices will greatly reduce the risk of foodborne disease--including foodborne disease that could be caused by resistant bacteria. Frequent hand-washing is one of the most important disease-prevention techniques, as is cleaning food preparation surfaces and utensils with soap and warm water before and after use.