Antibiotic Stewardship

Tyson Foods is dedicated to maintaining the health and welfare of the animals within our supply chain while also protecting food safety and public health.

This is a photo of baby chickens.

In fiscal year 2022, we published our Antibiotic Stewardship Position Statement, which describes our responsibility in managing antibiotic use within our supply chain and our approach to combating the development of antibiotic resistance. We rely on the guidelines for responsible use of antibiotics that are defined in BQA, PQA Plus and the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP). These guidelines are, in turn, based on judicious antibiotic use principles outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Responsible use practices rely on preventive strategies such as:

  • Biosecurity
  • Animal welfare programs
  • Proven management practices
  • Vaccination programs
  • Sanitation programs
  • Routine health monitoring programs
  • Veterinary oversight to minimize the potential need for antibiotic therapy

We further work within our direct supply chain and with independent farmers and others in the Tyson Foods cattle, hog and turkey supply chains to promote these practices. For more information, see the Tyson Foods Position Statement on Antibiotic Stewardship.

Antibiotic Stewardship Framework

Tyson Foods has developed an Antibiotic Stewardship Framework to facilitate the transparent and regular evaluation of progress in antibiotic stewardship practices throughout our global supply chain. The Tyson Foods’ Antibiotic Stewardship Framework was developed using the Framework for Antibiotic Stewardship in Food Animal Production. The Framework was the product of a multi-stakeholder project moderated by the Farm Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Tyson Foods was a participant in this project

In 2023, Tyson Foods’ Antibiotic Stewardship Position Statement and Framework were reviewed by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture and important feedback was incorporated into our antibiotic stewardship program. 

This is a photo of a man holding a chicken, while smiling.

The tool includes five key elements of antibiotic stewardship: 

  • Commitment and culture 
  • Veterinarian guidance and partnership 
  • Disease prevention strategies 
  • Optimal treatment approaches 
  • Antibiotic use records 

Within each element are three core components: 

  • Foundation is focused on establishing governance and building knowledge in order to know what to do and why it is important. 
  • Implementation is focused on having policies, procedures and plans in place that promote meaningful stewardship through a foundation of knowledge 
  • Evaluation is focused on validating stewardship practices, conducting audits, reviewing documents and assessing incorporation of new stewardship practices. 

International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture

We are a founding member of and an active participant in the International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA), a public-private collaboration launched by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research in 2019. Consisting of a cross-functional stakeholder group representing all stages of the U.S.  livestock supply chains, ICASA serves to promote judicious antibiotic use and advance animal health and welfare through collaborative research that will help us understand the causes of animal health challenges, and then develop and deploy practical solutions that enable targeted use while maintaining efficacy. Ultimately, this approach sheds light on the contributing factors of antibiotic resistance. Through these public-private investments, new technologies and management practices can be adopted across the industry to support our goal of responsible antibiotics use, a safe and sustainable food supply, and healthy communities.


Antibiotics, Beta Agonists, Hormones & Steroids

To ensure regulatory compliance in the U.S., all of our meat and poultry harvest facilities have programs in place and participate in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) surveillance programs for drug residues.  

U.S. and international law prohibit the use of added hormones or steroids in chicken or turkey. In accordance with those laws, we don’t allow hormones or steroids to be administered within those supply chains. 

In North America, cattle farmers and ranchers may use small amounts of FDA-approved growth promotants in beef production to increase the rate of lean weight gain. For consumers who want beef from farm animals that have never been given antibiotics or hormones for any purpose, we offer a line of all-natural (I.e., no artificial ingredients, vegetarian diet and minimally processed) beef products through our Open Prairie®️ Natural* line

To meet the growing global demand for U.S. pork and increase export opportunities, we no longer use ractopamine (beta-agonist) across the supply chain that supports our U.S. pork harvest facilities. 

Steroid hormone administration for growth purposes in market hogs is not permitted by the FDA. For consumers who want pork from farm animals that have never been given antibiotics, hormones and beta-agonists for any purpose, we offer a line of all-natural pork products through our Open Prairie®️ Natural* Pork line

*Minimally processed. No artificial ingredients.