The Certified Responsible Antibiotic Use (CRAU) standard is the first responsible use standard certified by USDA that allows for minimal use of medically important antibiotics in poultry production, and only those prescribed by a licensed veterinarian. Verification by USDA, a government agency accountable to Congress and the public, is essential to ensuring the integrity of CRAU. Poultry companies interested in meeting CRAU must undergo regular USDA audits to verify conformance.
Poultry producers in conformance with CRAU are prohibited from using antibiotics with analogues in human medicine in any regular pattern of use for any reason, including growth promotion, weight gain, feed efficiency and disease prevention. Use of antibiotics with analogues in human medicine must be rare, well documented with medical justification, and prescribed by a licensed veterinarian. Antibiotics that do not have analogues in human medicine have no further restrictions, as their use at this time is believed to present minimal risk to public health. ARAC will change its CRAU standard if scientific evidence reveals a link.
The CRAU standard is managed by the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC) at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. It was initially developed by School Food Focus in 2014 to minimize the use of antibiotics in poultry production and give schools an option to purchase poultry raised with responsible antibiotic use. Staff from ARAC worked closely with School Food Focus over the years to help develop and ensure the CRAU standard is rooted in the latest scientific developments. In late 2017, School Food Focus formally transferred the standard to ARAC.
We're excited to announce that we are expanding CRAU to include beef and pork. The Natural Resources Defense Council developed new standards with input from ARAC and others. We are now working to market these standards to schools, universities, hospitals, restaurants and other suppliers. Review the new standards here.
Visit the CRAU website at www.certifiedresponsibleantibioticuse.org and/or read below for more information.
CRAU Standard (for poultry)
- Read and download the CRAU standard
CRAU Audit Materials
The following resources provide additional background on the accreditation process.
Current CRAU Programs
Many of the largest poultry producers are CRAU certified. View the official USDA listing of CRAU programs.
Have questions? Visit the CRAU website for answers to the most frequently asked questions.
About the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center
The Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC) at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University was created to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by engaging in research, advocacy, and science-based policy. ARAC is comprised of epidemiologists, microbiologists, communications experts and policy experts focused on finding out-of-the box solutions to combat antibiotic resistance.