Most of the meat used in the food industry notoriously contains antibiotics. Whether we are discussing livestock or poultry, the diagnosis is the same. Antibiotics are used to artificially grow livestock and poultry and protect from diseases that would allegedly decimate populations.
However, recent pressure from federal authorities, as well as the medical community and a vast array of activist groups resulted in increasing demands that farmers curb the use of antibiotics, while restaurants and particularly fast-food chains change their policies regarding the use of meat containing antibiotics in the products they sell.
How are the fast-food chains faring? Fast-food chains are under discussion because over half of the budget spent on food in the average household is spent here. According to a new report that looked at the practices and policies of 25 fast-food chains in the U.S., things aren’t looking too promising.
Of the 25 chains under scrutiny, only five passed the test, with two receiving A grading. These are Panera and Chipotle. The other three that have taken steps in curbing the use of antibiotics and meats containing antibiotics in their products are: Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts.
The long list of 20 chains that received F grading counts Pizza Hut, KFC, Applebee’s, Arby’s, Chili’s, Burger King, Denny’s, Dairy Queen, Jack in the Box, Domino’s, IHOP, Little Caesars, Sonic, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Subway, Wendy’s and Outback Steakhouse Grill and Bar.
Why are antibiotics such a great problem? After all, we use them too. Well, the rapidly expanding public health issue is that the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and viruses.
Already, according to the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, two million U.S. citizens are infected with this type of superbugs yearly. And the issue is not only present in the U.S. A World Health Organization report released in 2014 draws attention on the rapidly expanding public health issue around the world and recommends that all measures are taken for the use of antibiotics in poultry and livestock is curbed as soon as possible.
Another report of the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention reveals that in the U.S., 80 percent of the antibiotics are used in farms. Contrary to expectations, the superbugs resistant to antibiotic use aren’t only harmful to people, but to animals and birds as well.
Thus, next time you visit a local fast-food, keep in mind the grading scale above and make an informed choice.
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