Many factors need to be considered when raising livestock without antibiotics – animal-to-animal transmission of bacteria and viruses will continue to play a role in the use of antibiotics for sick animals, which is an understandable practice.
Harrisburg, NC (PRWEB) July 15, 2014
As consumer demand for antibiotic-free meat grows amid the worry that overuse in factory farming is fostering antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, food chains nationwide such as Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill are voluntarily looking for solutions to serving only antibiotic-free meat. Clearstream, LLC, a diversified provider of environmentally-friendly antimicrobial products and services, says that while the trend could go a long way in reducing the overuse of antibiotics and protecting public health by sending a signal to producers that they are turning towards antibiotic-free alternatives, the true risk to livestock producers and consumers can only be combated with better hygiene methods combined with the introduction of advanced sanitization technology that utilizes long-term antimicrobial surface and facility treatments which control and reduce the spread of resistant bacterial and viral strains.
Recent reports show that Chick-fil-A has joined the crusade against antibiotic-infused poultry, after 70 percent of its customers rated it a top issue in surveys—the food chain recently announced plans to serve chicken raised without antibiotics at each of its restaurants within five years (1). The move is likely a response to growing concerns about what many are deeming a public health threat—one that recently prompted the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) request of drug companies to voluntarily restrict access to antibiotics to farmers after studies found a connection between factory farms and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, most commonly known as the “super-bug” MRSA.
Clearstream officials say that while livestock producers face troubles in trying to keep their animal populations healthy, technology is available to make an affordable difference in the cost spectrum. Originally, antibiotics were used to reduce mortality rates and deliver healthy animals for processing. Reportedly however, farmers began feeding antibiotics to animals in preemptive efforts to ward off harmful pathogens and then discovered that “small doses of antibiotics administered daily would make most animals gain as much as 3 percent more weight than they otherwise would,” (2) presenting an easy profit for farmers who pay an average of $25 for a kilogram of antibiotics (about 3 cents per gram). (3) According to Food Safety News, nearly “80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States each year are given to food animals to boost growth as well as treat and prevent disease and scientists have long known that all [low-dose] antibiotic use, whether in medicine or agriculture, fuels antibiotic resistance, which can make diseases harder to treat.” (4)
However, that resistance can eventually surface in the very people who consume those animals, per Clearstream CEO Jim Praechtl. But according to Praechtl, eschewing antibiotics is not the only action needed to protect the public’s health—in order to reduce dependence on antibiotics in treating livestock, the first step is to create more sanitary farming conditions that can dramatically decrease the need for antibiotics.
“Many factors need to be considered when raising livestock without antibiotics – animal-to-animal transmission of bacteria and viruses will continue to play a role in the use of antibiotics for sick animals, which is an understandable practice. But grime and contamination within animal-growing facilities and the subsequent surface transmission of pathogens animals are exposed to have to be taken into account,” said Praechtl. “To truly bring the use of antibiotics in the food we consume down to pre subtherapeutic use levels, we must work with growers and producers to remove as many bacterial and viral threats from the animal’s living conditions as possible by making farms a more hygienic community, thus advancing healthier animal populations, reducing mortality rates, and doing so with a lowered dependence on antibiotics,” he added.
mPact, Clearstream’s service division partner utilizes a two-step protection plan designed to control the spread of infectious diseases through a proprietary process:
1.mPerial® Detergent/Disinfectant provides sanitization and disinfection which eliminate a broad spectrum of bacteria, fungi and viruses, and is proven effective against, but not limited to, Norovirus (Norwalk virus), MRSA, HIV 1, and Vancomycin-intermediate and Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VISA).
2.mPale® Antimicrobial with ÆGIS Microbe Shield is a long-term biostatic surface protection technology that renders offending microbes inactive, while doing so safely for human and animal populations. Its unique design allows the formula to bond with virtually all surfaces, and provides non-leaching, non-toxic and environmentally-safe long-term protection.
In a recent study, Clearstream’s mPact service technology was proven to dramatically reduce bacterial populations in poultry houses while also improving the parameters used by poultry companies to determine profitability. For the study’s host, mPact reduced the bacterial counts on treated ceiling and metals surfaces by 100 percent, wood surfaces by over 99 percent, and plastic surfaces by nearly 87 percent. In addition, the number of chickens that could be sold increased by 137 per house and the overall weight per treated house increased by approximately 2,500 pounds while reducing feed rates, thereby increasing the farmer’s profitability.
For more information about Clearstream’s products and services, visit http://www.thinkclearstream.com.
About Clearstream, LLC:
Clearstream is a multi-dimensional and diversified provider of products and services that combine multiple disciplines. Clearstream’s environmentally-safe, corrective and long-term protective solutions employ advanced antimicrobial formulations in the fight against microbial cross-contamination and surface degradation. The company is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has partner-run operations in Florida, Texas, South Carolina and Pennsylvania. For more information, visit http://www.thinkclearstream.com.
1. Martin, Andrew. “Read Our Beaks: Chick-fil-A Takes ‘No Antibiotics’ Vow.” N.p., 12 Feb. 2014. Web. 17 June 2014. businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-12/chick-fil-a-exec-vows-no-antibiotics-ever-in-chicken-sandwiches.
2. “Is your meat safe?” PBS, n.d. Web. 15 June 2014. pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/safe/overview.html.
3. Main, Emily. “Farmers Pay Ridiculously Little for Animal Antibiotics.” Rodale News, 2 Jan. 2014. Web. 17 June 2014. rodalenews.com/antibiotics-farm-animals.
4. “Antibiotic-Free Meat Map Launched for Consumers | Food Safety News.” Food Safety News. N.p., 22 June 2012. Web. 17 June 2014. foodsafetynews.com/2012/06/antibiotic-free-meat-map-launched-for-consumers/#.U6BZfvldVuB.