KFC plans to use antibiotic-free chicken by 2018

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In another victorious move for the public, KFC has announced that it will stop using chickens that were given antibiotics in the U.S. by the end of 2018. [1]

The fried chicken fast-food establishment, which boasts 4,200 restaurants across the country, says it will nix antibiotics from both its boneless and on-the-bone chicken. KFC joins a growing list of fast-food companies that have made food supply changes in response to consumer concerns about health.

KFC said in a statement:

“By the end of 2018, all chicken purchased by KFC in the U.S. will be raised without antibiotics important to human medicine. This includes our chicken tenders and popcorn chicken; but we’re especially proud to be the first major chicken chain to extend this commitment to our bone-in chicken.” [2]

Matt Wellington, a spokesperson for the activist agency Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), says:

“This commitment is a major step forward for public health and could drastically shift the U.S. chicken industry away from overusing our life-saving medicines.” [3]

In 2016, a report by Chain Reaction II, a group of six nonprofit and activist organizations, gave KFC an “F” grade for its antibiotics policies and practices.

Antibiotics are given to farm animals for a variety of reasons, including treating sick livestock. However, farm animals are routinely given drugs to prevent illness and promote growth in filthy, stressful, and cramped conditions. The practice has given rise to antibiotic-resistant superbugs that could potentially send modern medicine back to the Dark Ages.

Despite the threat posed by antibiotic resistance, U.S. sales of medically important antibiotics approved for use in livestock increased by 23% between 2009 and 2014.

In recent years, numerous fast-food chains have either ditched antibiotics or pledged to cease using them in the future, including Wendy’s, Subway, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and McDonald’s.

Sources:

[1] USA Today

[2] Los Angeles Times

[3] CNN Money

Via Natural Society

Featured Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr