Antibiotic Residues vs. Resistance: What’s the Difference?


Antibiotic residues are not the same as antibiotic resistance, but are often confused with each other. Antibiotic residues are molecules that remain in meat from animals that have been treated with antibiotics, with a violative level defined as one that is above what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deems safe. Antibiotic resistance, however, is when bacteria develop the capacity to inactivate or exclude antibiotics, or develop a mechanism to block the inhibitory or killing effects of antibiotics, which can lead to undesirable outcomes for human, animal and environmental health.

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