Navigating Meat Quality: The Difference Between Antibiotic Free and Raised Without Antibiotics in Pet Food

In the realm of pet nutrition, particularly when it comes to sourcing meat for raw food diets, understanding the difference between "Antibiotic-Free” and "Raised without Antibiotics” is crucial. Although these claims sound similar, the “antibiotic-free” meat claim is very misleading and deceptive. 

What does "antibiotic-free" mean in terms of meat and poultry?

One might assume that antibiotic-free means that the meat or poultry has been raised without antibiotics, however that is not the case. Federal law requires all meat and poultry sold for human consumption to be free of antibiotics. But, what does “free of antibiotics” actually mean? This means the meat or poultry has no detectable antibiotic residues at the time of processing. In other words, animals may have been administered antibiotics at some point in their lives, but have undergone the necessary ‘withdrawal time’ to be considered “antibiotic-free”. This withdrawal time could be days to weeks and will depend upon the antibiotic, the dose (amount) and duration (period of time). 

What does “Raised Without Antibiotics” mean in terms of meat & poultry?

The "Raised without Antibiotics” standard represents a higher level of commitment to natural rearing practices in the US pet food industry. This label ensures that the animals were never treated with antibiotics from birth to slaughter. It aligns with a growing movement in the US towards more ethical and sustainable farming practices. These farms recognize the importance of the living conditions and the role this plays in animal health. Because animals are raised in healthy conditions, sickness is mostly avoided. In cases where animals require antibiotic treatment due to illness, they are removed from the "never ever" program and redirected to conventional markets, maintaining the integrity of the claim.


“In the instance that a flock requires antibiotic treatment, we do treat them and market them into a conventional channel.  Thankfully, this isn't a common occurrence for us, but it's important for customers to know that we're never going to let birds suffer if they require treatment.  More importantly, we have a lot of natural and preventative approaches that help us keep our flocks healthy without the use of meds.” ~ John Peterson, Ferndale Turkey Farm

This approach is particularly significant in the context of increasing consumer awareness about the impact of farming practices on animal welfare and the quality of pet food. By choosing pet foods using the "Raised without Antibiotics” claim, consumers are not only opting for products that are potentially healthier for their pets but also supporting farming practices that prioritize animal welfare and responsible antibiotic use.

Ferndale Turkey Farm

Raw Bistro Uses Only Raised without Antibiotics Meat & Poultry 

Our “Raised Without Antibiotics” claim is a 100% never-ever protocol, so we can assure that no antibiotics are used throughout the life of the animal. For poultry, this claim starts in the egg. 

At Raw Bistro, we understand that quality begins with how animals are raised. Our meats come exclusively from grass-fed and free-range animals reared on family farms. These animals have never seen a feedlot and have never been given antibiotics or added hormones of any kind. 

Our raised without antibiotics (never-ever) protocol is a testament to providing your pets with the best possible nutrition. We believe this to be the gold standard for eliminating all antibiotics and growth promotants throughout the life of the animal.


In the world of pet food, the difference between "Antibiotic-Free" and "Raised Without Antibiotics" is significant. At Raw Bistro, we go the extra mile to ensure that our products meet the "never ever" standard, reflecting our dedication to quality, purity, and the overall health of your pets. 


Discover the difference with Raw Bistro. Visit our website to explore our range of products and learn more about our commitment to never using antibiotics in our meat sources. Your pet deserves the best, and with Raw Bistro, that's exactly what they'll get.

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