KFC to remove antibiotics important to human medicine by 2018

  • KFC to remove antibiotics important to human medicine by 2018

KFC to remove antibiotics important to human medicine by 2018

With KFC's announcement, 11 out of the top 15 chains in the USA have now committed to some level of responsible antibiotics use for their chicken supplies.

KFC will serve chicken raised without human antibiotics in the U.S.by the end of 2018, the company said Friday, adding its considerable weight to the push to change the way poultry is treated.

With KFC's shift, more than half of the nation's poultry supply chain will be antibiotic-free in the near future, advocates said.

KFC, which sells more than 65 million buckets of chicken a year, estimated that one-third of its suppliers were already transitioning to chicken raised with fewer antibiotics. As you've probably heard by now, using antibiotics like these in food is unsafe because it builds up our immunity to the drugs, making them less effective in fighting disease when we really need them.

Meat producers often give animals antibiotics to make them grow faster and prevent illnesses.

Some have spent years of trial and error on new techniques to figure out replacements for human drugs, part of a fight against the rise of risky antibiotic-resistant bacteria in people. KFC's new policy will likely move this percentage even higher.

KFC worked with more than 2,000 farms, a lot of them family-owned and managed, in a dozen states to implement the new policy.

To meet increasing demand for meat raised without certain antibiotics, top USA chicken company Tyson Foods Inc TSN.N and rival producers are turning to sanitizing wipes, bacteria-reducing fog and even oregano to keep birds healthy.

U.S. PIRG and its partners - including Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Consumers Union, Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) - delivered a letter signed by more than eighty consumer, health, and environmental organizations to Yum! While several fast food restaurants have agreed to use antibiotic-free chicken, it has largely been limited to boneless chicken.

KFC joins other chains, like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Chipotle and Panera, that have made similar pledges to eliminate antibiotics from their chicken.

The suppliers have improved hygiene and airflow in chicken houses to keep birds healthy and given them more room to move, Vijay Sukumar, chief food innovation officer for KFC's US operations, told Reuters on Friday.

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.

The KFC U.S. antibiotics commitment is also part of parent company Yum!

Hochman said the policy change has been in the works for a year.

The Louisville, Ky. -based chain, the country's second-largest fried chicken concept, behind Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, said its commitment extends to both bone-in and boneless chicken. Its Pizza Hut division has the same rules for pizza toppings.