A group of consumer, public health and environmental organizations are calling on fast food and fast casual restaurants to publicly limit the use of antibiotics in the meat and poultry in items they sell on their menus.
The “Chain Reaction” report from the Friends of the Earth, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Consumers Union and three other groups graded 25 national restaurants on their policies that either completely limit or partially limit the use of antibiotics in meat and poultry products they sell. The groups surveyed executives at the chains in compiling the findings, resulting in just two “A” ratings (Chipotle and Panera Bread). The goal of the soon-to-be annual report is to “empower consumers with information to make better choices” when they eat in leading U.S. restaurant chains, the report said.
Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s and Panera Bread were noted for adopting or announcing policies and publicly affirming that antibiotics use is limited while their meat and poultry is being raised. The report also calls out Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway and Wendy’s for so far failing to publicly adopt policies that restrict routine antibiotic use by their meat suppliers. The latter four chains received “F” grades in the report.
The groups add that at least 2 million Americans contract antibiotic-resistant infections each year and 23,000 people lose their lives, citing data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report also recognized effort by such processors as Tyson Foods, Keystone Foods, Foster Farms, Pilgrim’s Pride and Perdue Farms that have either announced or implemented efforts to limit the use of human antibiotics in raising chickens.