Here’s another in my series of amusingly misleading marketing expressions.
In the US, “antibiotic-free” means only that an animal did not have antibiotics in its system when you eat it, which only means that it had no exposure to new antibiotics in its last 48 hours of life. Prior to that, its diet could have been full of anitibiotics and it’s all OK!
Marketing copy: Enjoy our organic, antibiotic-free chickens.
Translation: Our chickens ate organic corn flakes and Cipro for their whole lives, except at the end, when we starved them for 2 days prior to killing them. Yum!