As KFC shuns some antibiotics, US chicken industry deploys wet wipes, oregano
KFC is making a change to its chicken for health reasons.
KFC said it its working with more than 2,000 poultry farms around the U.S.to make the change. The letter urged the restaurant company to phase out the routine use of medically important antibiotics in its meat supply chain. As you've probably heard by now, using antibiotics like these in food is risky because it builds up our immunity to the drugs, making them less effective in fighting disease when we really need them.
Antibiotics have been used on non-organic livestock for years in order "to help them survive and make them grow faster in unsanitary, crowded and stressful conditions", according to a 2016 report written by Chain Reaction II, a group of six nonprofit and activist organizations. But the practice has become a public health issue, as it can lead to germs becoming resistant to drugs. KFC's commitment is a significant addition to this progress because it could push the US chicken industry over the threshold for better antibiotic stewardship. Chick-fil-A is going a step further, vowing in 2014 to switch to poultry raised without any antibiotics at all by the end of 2019.
There is some evidence that such actions can improve sales: McDonald's Corp. said sales of its Chicken McNuggets increased past year, after the company said it removed antibiotics from the menu item. The chain, which has been the bane of some medical and animal rights groups for its resistance to this move, said its announcement today marks the first time a major national U.S. QSR chain has committed to using hens raised this way for bone-in chicken.
"KFC's new policy will be a game-changer for the fast food industry and public health", said Lena Brook, food policy advocate at NRDC. KFC's new policy will likely move this percentage even higher.
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Logos of KFC, owned by Yum Brands Inc, are seen on its delivery bicycles in front of its restaurant in Beijing February 25, 2013. (YUM), said it is also in the process of removing artificial colors and flavors from certain menu items by the end of 2018. KFC's antibiotic policy is set on a country-by-country basis, he added. Other quick-service chains that made similar pledges include Chipotle, McDonald's, Burger King, Panera and Wendy's.
It'll still be deep fried, but KFC wants to make its chicken a little healthier.
KFC is among the largest buyers of chicken in the country, and estimates suggest that the company's move could create a positive rippling effect through the chicken industry, U.S. PIRG's release stated.
Antibiotics in chicken products can result in the growth of resistant bacteria and if chicken is wrongly prepared, consumers run the risk of infection and serious illness. Its Pizza Hut division has the same rules for pizza toppings.
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Apr 06 2017