Antibiotic Free

By implementing its own Production Chain, OPAS has set itself the objective of offering to the final consumer a food product with Antibiotic Free certificate. This guarantees the absence of the use of antibiotics from the first weeks of the animals life (since the 49th day of life of the pig) until the slaughtering.

First of all, the quality of meat depends on how the animal lives and how it is fed. The Antibiotic Free production chain therefore, guarantees the exclusion of the antibiotics starting from the 49th day of the life of the animal and the absence of stress during its whole lifetime.

The distinguishing characteristics is to include only those pigs of Italian origin, that are born, reared in Italy and slaughtered at OPAS plant.

These pigs can belong to the circuit of P.D.O Parma and San Daniele ham; in this case, the pigs are fed with conforming raw materials and feed established in the specification of S. Daniele and Parma Ham Consortium or with GMO FREE food.

The objective is to give value to the rearing methods of pigs that provide further guarantees to the final consumer in relation to the healthiness of meat with reference to the absence of the use of antibiotics in animals starting from the 49th day of life.


  • Antibiotic: antimicrobial produced by or derived from a micro-organism, which destroys or inhibits the growth of other micro-organisms (EC Reg. no. 1831/2003).

  • Production chain: identifies all the activity and flow that have critical relevance for the product characteristics.

  • Traceability: the ability to trace and follow a food, feed, food-producing animal or substance intended to be, or expected to be incorporated into a food or feed, through all stages of production and distribution. (EC Reg. 178/2002).

  • Carry-over: Presence of substances (raw materials, additives, etc.) that are residual in the manufacturing plants (or means of transport) pursuant to previous processing and due to the inevitable carry over phenomenon.

  • Cross-contamination: contamination of a material or of a product with another material or product.


The products subject to certification are all and only those meat cuts that are marketed with the certificate of provenance of the controlled Antibiotic free production chain.


Everybody, suppliers (breeders) and sub-suppliers (feed manufacturers), by signing OPAS’ technical specifications for the Antibiotic Free production chain, accepts the content, complies with the requirements and officially adheres to the above mentioned supply chain, thus directly becoming the person responsible at their own plants.

The partners commit themselves, each one according to their own skills, to follow several regulations reported in the production technical specification. The products of the controlled Antibiotic Free production chain are exclusively produced at specific plants and controlled by OPAS.



Finished animal feed are produced by feed manufacturers selected by Opas, using the raw materials coming from qualified and long-time suppliers, controlled as per a well-defined corporate plan that is made official by specific procedures.

The feed manufacturer sets out and implements a documented procedure aimed at guaranteeing the production of feed without antibiotics and it also includes the management procedure concerning the carry-over phenomenon and cross-contamination.

The feed manufacturer, reports the traceability of the raw materials used for each batch product. The feed manufacturer shall define and implement a plan of analytical checks concerning the finished feed with execution of laboratory analyses on the residues based on the control plan in line with a risk analysis of “contamination with antibiotics”.



The organizations that have obtained the Antibiotic Free certificate guarantee the conformity to the following requirements:

  1. After the weaning phase, specifically after the 49th day of life, swine are reared until slaughtering, never using antibiotics, complying with the following characteristics:
    • The Antibiotic free breeding farms specifically follow this rearing method.
    • Any animals that may be subject to antibiotic treatment are identified, through internal procedures validated by the Production Chain Manager, downgraded and moved to another breeding farm. In case the transfer is not possible, they are segregated in a designated room which is exclusively intended for them.
  2. The production chain manager (OPAS) adopts a self-monitoring system along the production chain starting from the feed manufacturer, including the audits and the analytical checks aimed at guaranteeing the compliance with “Antibiotic free” requirement.

The audits ensure to regard 100% of the supply chain operators.


The animals are fed with products of known origin and checked in all phases, from the arrival at the feed manufacturer to the Pig’s consumption.


The breeders commit themselves to rear and keep the animals in stop-over at suitable facilities, with suitable equipment and organization such as to guarantee the respect of the animal welfare. The facilities and the equipment of the breeding farms are clean and disinfected and they guarantee the correct welfare conditions for the animal, in order not to cause unnecessary pain, suffering or injuries.


All the pharmaceutical treatments permitted are registered on a specific form. As regards the therapy of the animals, only supplements and medicines registered and permitted for porcine species can be used, taking care to respect the 49th day as deadline. For each treatment carried out after this time limit, the traceability is made evident and at the same time, the animal is identified, thus excluding it from the group.


The staff members of the concerned organization, who may influence OPAS controlled Antibiotic free production chain, are properly trained, made aware and involved in order to ensure a correct implementation of the very same production chain. Staff members are aware of the importance of their function and of the consequences of their own behaviour.


The traceability is guaranteed in all the phases of the process, in particular:

  • The animals moved through the passage from breeding phases/fattening phases to weaning are specifically identified with batch and heading Free From Antibiotics

  • The animals destined to slaughter are specifically identified with batch and heading Free From Antibiotics written in the pertinent documents.

  • In all the phases after slaughtering, from an operator to the one following, meat is identified with batch and heading Free From Antibiotics

The external certification body Kiwa guarantees the coherence and the implementation of OPAS Antibiotic Free production chain.