Given recent media reports about antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria being found in the U.S. meat supply, Whole Foods Market reminds shoppers that its strict quality standards do not allow meat from farm animals that have been administered antibiotics.

Shoppers can rest assured that products at Whole Foods Market’s meat counters come from animals that are not given antibiotics, added growth hormones or animal by-products in their feed.  Our processed meat items do not contain synthetic nitrates or nitrites or other artificial ingredients.

Before a vendor can supply meat to Whole Foods Market, they must meet rigorous quality standards and successfully complete annual independent, third-party audits  of processing facilities to monitor food safety (including testing for pathogens), and strict compliance with the applicable U.S. and/or Canadian Food Safety Regulations, including good manufacturing practices. Team Members are thoroughly trained in sanitation, food handling and safety procedures and the company brings in third-party inspectors who perform regular audits to assess food handling and safety procedures in each meat department.

In addition, the company has deepened its commitment to improve the lives of farm animals by adopting Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating nationwide. Independent third-party certifiers audit and rate farms’ management practices using a tiered system of Steps 1 to 5+, to provide a way to engage and reward producers by promoting continuous improvement in farm animal welfare and provide transparency by informing customers how the animals are raised for the meats they are buying. All grass-fed beef, pork and chicken sold in U.S. Whole Foods Market stores is third-party certified to Global Animal Partnership standards.