The term “antibiotic free” means that the animals have been raised without the use of antibiotics. You may see the acronyms “ABF”, which is short for Antibiotic Free, or RWA, which stands for Raised Without Antibiotics. In some production systems, antibiotics may be used to encourage growth, or to prevent and control disease within a poultry flock. Within organic poultry operations, the use of antibiotics is not permitted under the Canadian Organic Standards.
Poultry products that are labeled ABF or RWA are not organic. These labels only refer to one aspect of how the animals are raised. Organic standards restrict the use of antibiotics, but also address other aspects of animal husbandry, including what the animals eat, the environment in which they live, and how they are processed.