In recent years, Americans have had growing concerns about exposure to unnecessary antibiotics within their food. Fortunately, consumers can feel good consuming Norwegian ocean-farmed salmon. That’s because antibiotics are no longer an issue in Norwegian aquaculture, since less than 1% of all salmon are treated. Effective vaccines and preventative measures are the reasons that Norway's aquaculture industry barely uses any antibiotics today.
Since the late eighties, there has been a 99 percent reduction in the usage of antibiotics in Norwegian ocean-farmed salmon due to effective vaccines in the early stage of the salmon’s life cycle. In numbers, 0.14 grams are used per metric ton of salmon (Vetinst.no Fish Health Report, 2016). In the rare cases that antibiotics are used, there is a medical reason to do so. In these cases, the medicine is prescribed and administered by fish health biologists or veterinarians.
If the salmon receives any antibiotics or other forms of medicinal treatment, it is held back from processing and must go through a withdrawal period to ensure the drug is no longer in its system. The salmon will be processed to go to market when all tests show that there are absolutely no antibiotic or medicinal residues left in the salmon.
Authorities have not been able to find traces of antibiotics in farmed Norwegian Salmon in the last decade, and the World Health Organization has recognized Norway’s effort to reduce its use of antibiotics.