Economy

KFC Announces Commitment to Use Completely Antibiotic Free Chicken

KFC Announces Commitment to Use Completely Antibiotic Free Chicken

Estimates suggest the company's newfound commitment could lead to a majority of the US chicken industry no longer raising birds with the routine use of medically important antibiotics.

KFC, the second-biggest US chicken chain by sales after privately held Chick-fil-A, on Thursday told Reuters that it has given its chicken suppliers until the end of 2018 to phase out the use of antibiotics important to human medicine.

Wellington works for U.S. PIRG, a nonprofit that partnered with four other organizations in January 2016 to first urge KFC to reduce its use of medically important antibiotics in its meat supply chain.

More specifically, KFC US president and chief concept officer Keven Hochman notes, "We're constantly working to meet the changing preferences of our customers, while ensuring we deliver on the value they expect from KFC".

Using data from a 2017 WATT PoultryUSA survey, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that more than 42 percent of the USA chicken industry is either under an antibiotics stewardship pledge or has already converted to responsible practices.

Probably known better as KFC, Kentucky Fried Chicken announced, today, a plan to be completely antibiotic-free by the end of 2018.

Seventy percent of human antibiotics are now used for meat and dairy production to help prevent infections like E. coli in animals - aka to prevent vendors from taking losses when some animals naturally get sick and can't be sold as food for humans anymore. Officials have said that it can lead to germs becoming resistant to drugs, making antibiotics no longer effective in treating some illnesses in humans. KFC's new policy will likely move this percentage even higher. Eleven of the 15 largest restaurant chains in the US have committed to ending the use of antibiotics on some level. Industry leaders including Subway, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, McDonald's and others have made various commitments to eliminate unnecessary antibiotic use from their supply chains.

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"We recognize that it's a growing public health concern".

KFC, which is owned by Yum!

KFC also recently pledged to eliminate artificial colors and flavors from all of its core products by the end of 2018 and to have 100% of the menu, except for drinks and third-party products, free of food dyes by the end of this year.

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 USA operations, told Reuters on Friday.

Conservatively, at least 2 million Americans are already infected with antibiotic-resistant infections every year, and at least 23,000 die as a direct result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We had to convince our suppliers to go for the change and then they worked with us", Sukumar said.


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