Certified Responsible Antibiotic Use (CRAU) is the first responsible use standard verified by USDA that allows for minimal use of medically important antibiotics in meat and poultry production, and only those prescribed by a licensed veterinarian. CRAU is managed and periodically updated by the non-profit Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC) at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University.

3rd party verification by USDA, a government agency accountable to Congress and the public, is essential to ensuring the integrity of CRAU. Companies interested in meeting CRAU must undergo regular USDA audits to verify conformance. Since 2015, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has been auditing and approving poultry companies to the CRAU standard. ARAC is pleased to highlight the addition of CRAU Beef and Pork to its well-established CRAU Poultry Standard, creating a more complete suite of responsible antibiotic use standards for the major meat and poultry industries. 

CRAU standards minimize the use of veterinary antibiotics that are identical or closely related to drugs used in human medicine, and preserve their efficacy for when antibiotics are most needed in both human and animal health. 

Meat and poultry producers in conformance with CRAU are prohibited from using antibiotics important in human medicine in any regular pattern of use for any reason, including growth promotion, weight gain, feed efficiency, disease prevention, and failure to address underlying causes of disease. Use of antibiotics with analogues in human medicine must be rare, well documented with medical justification, and prescribed by a licensed veterinarian.


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.