McDonald's Corp, known for its Chicken McNuggets, says that its roughly 14,000 USA restaurants previous year stopped serving chicken raised with antibiotics considered important to human medicine.
KFC announced its decision to stop serving chicken that contains antibiotics in the U.S.
KFC said it its working with more than 2,000 poultry farms around the U.S.to make the change. But health experts say it leads to germs becoming resistant to drugs and makes antibiotics ineffective in treating some illnesses in people.
The move by the giant fast-food chicken chain comes after years of pressure from food safety and consumer advocacy groups, and two years after other industry leaders such as McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell made similar pledges to phase out the use of products from animals treated with the antibiotics - a practice linked to the rise of "super bug" pathogens that are resistant to multiple drugs. NRDC estimates that more than 40 percent of the USA chicken industry is now either under an antibiotics stewardship commitment or is already using responsible practices, according to published statements and data from the WattPoultryUSA 2017 Survey.
In the past year, Consumers Union, along with Natural Resource Defense Council, U.S. Public Interest Research Group and others sent petitions signed by almost half a million consumers to Yum Brands, which includes KFC, asking the company to adopt a meaningful no-antibiotics policy.
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"This announcement is a win for anybody who might someday depend on antibiotics to get well or even save their lives - i.e. everybody", Wellington added. Chick-fil-A plans to switch to poultry raised without any antibiotics at all by the end of 2019. Although most of its menu is now free of food dyes, it will be completely rid of them by this year's end, excluding beverages and third-party products, according to the release. Hochman says growers will have to raise more chickens in order to meet KFC's size demands without the antibiotics. Brands Headquarters, almost 5,000 consumer calls into KFC's customer service line, and hundreds of social media actions directed at KFC (using #KFCsaveABX).
KFC's antibiotic policy is set on a country-by-country basis, according to Yum!
A shareholder resolution filed by the non-profit group As You Sow with KFC outlined the business risks involved in companies that are not keeping pace with growing consumer concern around antibiotic overuse.
Yum's Taco Bell chain already committed to serve chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine in all USA restaurants by the end of last month.
"It's making much more of a ripple effect", Wellington told Nation's Restaurant News.