Cows with farmer graphic

Antibiotics, Hormones, and Steroids

Healthy animals mean safe and healthy food, so we’re committed to making sure the livestock and poultry we depend on are raised responsibly. Our philosophy is to use antibiotics only as needed and only when prescribed by a veterinarian.

We are using essential oils and botanicals – like oregano, thyme, yucca and peppers – as alternatives to antibiotics in our broiler chicken production. We also use probiotics – like the good bacteria found in yogurt – as another antibiotic alternative to help with our chickens’ digestive health.

We’re also making significant progress eliminating the use of antibiotics that are also important to human health from our chicken production. In our 2015 Sustainability Report, we published an update on our progress. Click here to see how we’re doing.

We have ongoing efforts with independent farmers and others in the company’s cattle, hog and turkey supply chains to discuss ways to reduce the use of human antibiotics on cattle, hog and turkey farms.

In June 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced new guidance to further promote the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals. We will fully comply with the new guidance on farms where the animals being raised are owned by Tyson Foods by the targeted implementation date of January 2017. For more information, click here.

For consumers who want meat from farm animals that have never been given antibiotics for any purpose, we offer a line of all natural (no artificial ingredients, minimally processed) chicken under the NatureRaised Farms® brand and choices in beef through our Open Prairie Natural Angus® brand.

Open Prairie Natural Angus® brand beef is also a great choice for consumers who want beef from animals that have never been given growth promoting hormones (birth to harvest).

Read our position statements on antibiotics, added hormones or steroids, Ractopamine and Zilmax.



























July 15, 2015

Cattle working group met to discuss possible antibiotic models, industry involvement and collaboration with other working groups. They met again on October 20, 2015, to continue the dialog.

June 18, 2015

Co-hosted dinner with The Pew Charitable Trusts in connection with Culinary Institute of America “Menus of Change” conference to talk about antibiotics in food production with leading chefs and foodservice company executives.

June 3, 2015

First meeting of our hog working group. We began comparing various standards around antibiotic usage and developing a hog supplier antibiotic stewardship survey. The group met again on August 28, 2015, and on October 22, 2015, the first round of surveys to help establish a baseline were sent out to hog suppliers.

June 2, 2015

Participated in the “White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship.”

May 7, 2015

First business to adopt the Certified Responsible Antibiotic Use (CRAU) standard developed by School Food FOCUS and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

April 28, 2015

Announced we would strive to stop using human antibiotics in our broiler chicken flocks by the end of September 2017.

January 2015

Stopped using antibiotics in all company-owned mills that make feed for our broiler chickens.

October 1, 2014

Removed antibiotics from our 35 chicken hatcheries.


Reduced human antibiotics used to treat broiler chickens by more than 80 percent.