Antibiotic resistance is a public health threat, with 2 million Americans getting sick with antibiotic-resistant bugs and 23,000 dying every year.
In their report Chain Reaction, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumers Union, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Keep Antibiotics Working, and Center for Food Safety looked into major restaurants’ policies regarding antibiotic use in their meat products.
Pass And Fail
Of the 25 largest fast food chains, only five received passing grades. Of those, only Chipotle and Panera received A-grades.
Chick-fil-A received a B, while Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s received C-grades.
In the report, the five top-rated restaurants were the only ones to have adopted antibiotic-limiting policies, and the top two were the only ones to publicly announce they would source only antibiotic-free meat.
In the United States, 70 percent of medically important antibiotics are sold for livestock. Antibiotics are largely used in conventional livestock operations not to treat illness, but to increase growth.
In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration announced it would request voluntary phasing out of antibiotic use in livestock, but the wording in the plan provided a loophole for disease prevention, which could go beyond what is medically necessary.