Many of your favorite fast food and restaurant chains continue to contribute to the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, according to a report released today by advocacy groups.
According to CNN, the World Health Organization calls the development of bacteria that can’t be killed by some of our current medicines, “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.”
The organization released a report that showed that fifteen of America’s favorite fast-food restaurant chains received an “F” for their lack of action in reducing the use of beef raised with antibiotics, including popular chains like “Burger King”, “Jack in The Box,” “Olive Garden,” “Chilli’s” and “Applebee’s” as well as the top pizza chains “Pizza Hut”, “Domino’s” and “Little Caesars.”
It’s only the second year that the report has focused on beef, but some progress has been made. Only two restaurant chains received an “A,” and they were “Chipotle” and “Panera Bread” who were early leaders in using only antibiotic-free beef and chicken.
Subway and McDonald’s received a “C” for making a commitment to begin the process of using antibiotic-free beef in their food items, but both still have a lot of work to be done.
The restaurants fared better with chickens. As CNN reported, “A huge success story over the past five years is the reduction of chicken raised with antibiotics in many of our favorite restaurants,” said Lena Brook, director of food campaigns for the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the groups who sponsored the study. Others include Consumer Reports, the Milken Institute School for Public Health and the Center for Food Safety.
According to the report, 90% of the chickens raised last year received no medically important antibiotics. Compared to the numbers in 2014, when “nearly half of the nine billion broiler chickens produced in the US annually were raised on a full array of antibiotics, including medically important drugs,” the report stated.
13 of the 25 restaurants are keeping their commitment to serve antibiotic-free chicken, including “Burger King,” “Chick-Fil-A,” “KFC,” and “Wendy’s.”
McDonald’s is in the early stages of its commitment, Brook said, with plans to announce reduction targets by the end of 2020. The promise to act alone- jumped their score from an “F” to a “C.”