However, over half of the restaurants surveyed by a coalition from consumer, environmental and health organizations still receive failing grades.
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Today’s Chain Reaction 2 report included the restaurant antibiotics scorecard. To determine the grades, the group used data from top 25 restaurants in the United States and public information.
Officials from the organization stated that the issue was important because more than 70% of the antibiotics used in the United States for medically important purposes are used on livestock.
They claimed that 96% of these drugs are added to water and feed, often giving them to animals who aren’t sick.
They stated that antibiotic-resistant infections are rising because of the overuse antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that approximately 2 million Americans are infected each year with these “superbugs”. 23,000 people infected with these superbugs die each year.
Healthline was told by Lena Brook (NRDC) that “we don’t know how to fix it” and that they don’t have a lot of time.
Who is making the grade?
The Tuesday report contained both good and bad news. Coalition officials stated that there are twice the number of restaurants that respond to public requests to offer meat from animals who have ingested a lower amount of antibiotics.
- Nine chains were awarded a passing grade of at most a “D”, double the number last year.
- Officials also stated that chicken meat suppliers have improved their anti-biotic policies.
Panera and Chipotle received the highest marks. They were the only companies to receive “A” grades. Both companies were awarded the top marks for the second consecutive year.
Brook stated that these restaurants have been at the forefront of antibiotics for nearly a decade. Brook said that both companies have created brands around high-quality products that don’t depend on antibiotics.
Brook stated that “they realized the seriousness” of the problem early.
Panera officials stated that they would continue to honor this promise. They also noted that they have introduced deli turkey without antibiotics in this month’s menu.
“We are proud to have been the leader in antibiotic reduction for more than a decade and will continue to push ourselves towards new milestones,” Sara Burnett (director of wellness and food policy at Panera) told Healthline via email.
Who isn’t making the grade?
The group that was awarded an “F” grade included some of the most well-known restaurants in the country.
They included Applebee’s and Olive Garden, Denny’s as well as Burger King, Burger King, Jack in the Box and Dairy Queen.
After coalition officials claimed that Dunkin’ Donuts had weakened its publicly stated anti-biotics policy, the company was given an “F” grade.
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KFC is the most baffling restaurant in this group.
- The restaurant’s main product is chicken, which is the sector that has made the most progress.
- Brook stated that chickens have a shorter lifespan than livestock so it is easier to give up antibiotics.
- She also mentioned that Tyson and Foster Farms have updated their anti-biotic policies.
- Brook pointed out that Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC had scored higher this year.
- Chick-fil A, a major competitor, received a “B”, on this year’s scorecard.
- Brook stated, “So, I don’t know what is holding KFC back.” Brook said, “They are a real retard at this point.”
KFC officials replied to Healthline via email, saying that they are currently reviewing their antibiotics program and the viability its suppliers to exceed federal guidelines.
A profitable policy
Brook stated that there is no reason for restaurant owners to think that a shortage of antibiotics in farm animals would affect the quality of their food or the bottom line of the chain.
She stated that there is no evidence to show that meat without antibiotics tastes different.
She said that it is not yet known if these new policies will cause restaurants to increase their prices for these types of meals.
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Brook stated that it is clear that companies can adopt these policies while still turning a profit, as so many are doing that right now.