All About Meat, Milk and Egg Withdrawal Times 

What is a meat, milk, or egg withdrawal time ? 

All drugs and medications that your veterinarian prescribes for your animal will have meat and/or egg withdrawal times.   

During the withdrawal time, the medication levels in the animal’s system are above the limit determined by Health Canada. Therefore, the animal’s meat and/or eggs cannot be consumed until the withdrawal period ends.

Once the withdrawal period is over, the meat, milk and/or eggs are safe for human consumption.  

How long is a meat, milk, or egg withdrawal time?

The lengths of the withdrawal period vary between drugs. Your veterinarian will have the withdrawal period for your specific medication printed on the prescription label on the medication.   

It is important to remember that you cannot consume meat/and or eggs during the treatment time, and you start counting the withdrawal period after the last day of treatment. 

Example of an egg withdrawal 

Below (Figure 1) is an example of a 14-day withdrawal period. The chicken in the situation below is treated for three days with an antibiotic medication with a 14-day egg withdrawal period after the last day of treatment. During those three days, the eggs from that chicken cannot be consumed. The day following the last treatment day is when the 14-day egg withdrawal period starts.  If you add the 3 treatment days plus the 14-day egg withdrawal period, that is 17 days in which you cannot consume the treated chicken’s eggs.  

Figure 1: This shows the calendar month of May 2023, and documents a 3- day antibiotic treatment given to a chicken. It also shows the 14 day period after the treatment after the treatment where eggs cannot be consumed.  

If you have any questions or want more information about withdrawal times, please reach out to Dr. Canning.  You can contact the clinic at [email protected], or on . 

Last updated on June 16th, 2023.