Good news chicken eaters! (Not that I eat meat but for those who do and who have families who do.) KFC in the U.S., part of Yum Brands Inc, recently announced plans to curb the use of antibiotics in its chicken supply by 2018. This move makes them the last of the big three chicken restaurants to “join the fight against the rise of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs.” This new policy “applies throughout the bird’s full life cycle, which includes the hatchery where chicks are sometimes injected with antibiotics while still in the shell.” (What? They were doing that before???)
Currently, around 70 percent of the antibiotics used to fight infections in humans are sold for use in meat and dairy production. And for a long time, medical researchers have voiced their concerns that overuse of those drugs could diminish their effectiveness in fighting disease in humans.
- This Chicken Farm Uses Oregano Oil Instead of Antibiotics
- Nevada Woman Dies from a Superbug Resistant to Every Available Antibiotic in the US
Thankfully, in the last couple of years, fast food companies have started to recognize the part they were playing in that dangerous practice; last year McDonald’s nearly 14,000 U.S. restaurants stopped serving chicken raised with antibiotics, in 2014 Chick-fil-A vowed to switch to poultry raised without any antibiotics at all by the end of 2019, Taco Bell has committed to serve chicken raised without antibiotics, Pizza Hut has the same rules for pizza toppings, and now, KFC.
KFC U.S. President, Kevin Hochman, told Reuters:
“We recognize that it’s a growing public health concern. This is something that’s important to many of our customers and it’s something we need to do to show relevance and modernity within our brand.”
But, if you are a world traveler know this, the policy applies only to KFC’s in the U.S. and its 4,200 restaurants supplied by some 2,000 domestic chicken farms. In other words, we aren’t totally out of the woods yet.
From the article:
“Human infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose a grave threat to global health and are estimated to kill at least 23,000 Americans each year, although a recent Reuters investigation found that many infection-related deaths are going uncounted.”
Again, this is good news but it doesn’t mean we can stop being vigilant, reading labels, and doing our research. For instance, just because something says it is “Non-GMO” doesn’t mean they still aren’t using antibiotics.
READ YOUR LABELS and DO YOUR RESEARCH!