KFC makes announcement on antibiotic use in chicken supply

The rampant use of antibiotics in chicken farming has led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, known as superbugs.

Yum! Brands, Inc.’s U.S. Kentucky Fried Chicken, aka KFC, chain is the third fast-food chicken company to demand that the chicken farms that supply them stop administering antibiotics to its chickens.

According to reports on Friday, KFC is giving its U.S. poultry suppliers until the end of 2018 to stop the practice, noting that approximately “70 percent of antibiotics vital for fighting infections in humans are sold for use in meat and dairy production, and medical researchers have concerns that overuse of those drugs may diminish their effectiveness in fighting disease in humans.”

McDonald’s Corporation stopped serving chicken raised with antibiotics in its U.S. restaurants last year, setting an example for the rest of the industry.

In 2014, Chick-fil-A announced that it would be using only antibiotic-free poultry by the end of 2019.

KFC was being pressured by consumer, health, and environmental groups to make the move, and it has now acknowledged the danger to consumers. “We recognize that it’s a growing public health concern,” said KFC U.S. President Kevin Hochman.

“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,” he said.

KFC’s 4,200 restaurants in the United States are supplied by approximately 2,000 domestic chicken farms, according to Hochman, and the new agenda will only apply in this country. Hochman added that KFC’s antibiotic policy is set on a country-by-country basis.

H/T: Reuters

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