07/13/2010 - Antibiotics are among the greatest discoveries in medicine. But the Cleveland Clinic doesn't serve them on a plate to its patients, employees or visitors.
The Clinic is among nearly 300 hospitals that have signed a pledge with the international environmental coalition Health Care Without Harm to only buy meat raised without antibiotics.
All of the meat dished up to Clinic patients throughout the system and sold in its cafeterias are to be antibiotic-free, per specifications given to the Clinic's food service provider, AVI Food Systems, said Bill Barum, the hospital's senior director of hospitality.
Health Care Without Harm and the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming publicized signers of the pledge on Tuesday to take aim at the practice of giving antibiotics to healthy animals being raised for meat. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing today on the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
The two groups say the practice promotes development of drug-resistant bacteria, which can then infect humans who work with the animals or eat their meat. Some of these drug-resistant bacteria can be fatal, causing death within 48 hours.
Up to 70 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States are routinely fed to healthy poultry or livestock to promote growth and weight gain, the Pew campaign said.
Read the full article, Cleveland Clinic Among Hospitals that Shun Meat Raised with Antibiotics on the Cleveland.com Web site.