Since Brasstown Beef clearly advertises their beef has “no antibiotics”, I asked Ridgefield’s ranch manager Tim Dietz what would happen if one of the “feeder” steers got sick and needed antibiotics. “If an animal is sick they would be separated from the herd and identified with a special ear tag so it doesn’t spread to the others. It’s so important to us to have an on-call vet who can help us address these things quickly. If the animal ends up needing antibiotics, then they get that care but then we sell them at auction and they don’t remain on the farm. Our priority is to have healthy cattle and a healthy herd and to try and prevent illness.”
Note: USDA regulations require that if animals are given antibiotics there must be a withdrawal period www.foodinsight.org/Fact_Sheet_FDA_s_Approval_Process_for_Food_Animal_Antibiotics before that animal can enter the food supply. This is an established amount of time that it takes for an antibiotic to clear the animal’s system. Each antibiotic has a specified withdrawal period which must be observed to ensure safe food supplies.
Tim also explained that the cattle are given vaccines to protect them from diseases. It could devastate a farm or ranch if disease spread through a herd and made animals sick or caused their death. ”You would protect your child or your pets from diseases with vaccines, right? ”
Based on a visit to Brasstown Beef (supplier for Ingles Markets). For entire post: http://inglesinfoaisle.com/dirty-boots-and-the-basics-of-beef
Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN
Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian