Hospitals crave antibiotic-free meat to reduce threat of superbugs

More hospitals have worked to eliminate antibiotics in the meat they serve in patient meals in an effort to address concerns about the rise of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. HackensackUMC made a strong commitment toward its goal of making its meat servings 100 percent free of antibiotics.

But making the transition to serving only meat from animals that have not been fed antibiotics can be challenging in terms of sourcing an available supply and getting it at a reasonable price.

“We had tried in the past to go antibiotic-free, but between the price and the availability, it was tough for us to make the switch,” said Kyle Tafuri, senior sustainability adviser at New Jersey-based Hackensack University Medical Center. Tafuri said the hospital ran into difficulty a few years ago when it first attempted to switch to serving antibiotic-free chicken.

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