Restaurants should commit to serving antibiotic-free meats

Major restaurant chains are taking significant action to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms, but some chains, like KFC, the largest fried chicken restaurant, are lagging behind.

Antibiotic resistant bacteria kill 23,000 Americans a year, sickening millions more. A big factor is the routine use of antibiotics on food producing animals that often aren’t sick. That routine overuse breeds antibiotic resistant bacteria that threaten public health.

Last year McDonald’s committed to stop serving chicken raised on medically important antibiotics, and Tyson Foods, a major chicken producer and supplier to McDonald’s, followed suit. Then Subway made a groundbreaking commitment for all meats. Subway recently hit its first milestone of that commitment by releasing a new sandwich featuring chicken raised without antibiotics.

Consumers are even hungrier for meat raised without antibiotics, and KFC should fill the order in 2016 with a strong policy to serve meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics.

Wil Mulligan

NCPIRG campaign organizer