Some restaurant chains receive an 'F' for antibiotic meat

We all live busy lives and because of that we often opt for convenience when it comes to eating. If we stop and get fast food we trust what we’re getting isn’t harmful to our health. Well, a new report out today is grading how well the 25 biggest chain restaurants do when it comes to avoiding meat with antibiotics.

The restaurants who scored an ‘A+’ on the Chain Reaction report were Chipolte and Panera. The report was done by six non-profit consumer and watchdog groups. It found in the past year 14 chain restaurants have taken action to restrict antibiotics in chicken, but no one has made new commitments to limit antibiotic use in beef and pork.

The report ranks KFC as the most improved, but there are 11 restaurants that scored an ‘F’ on the report. They include, Applebee’s, Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili’s, Cracker Barrel, Dairy Queen, Domino’s Pizza, IHOP, Little Caesars, Olive Garden and Sonic.

Antibiotics are fed to animals to keep them healthy. Healthier animals mean cheaper meat. But the Centers for Disease Control says that the practice contributes to antibiotic resistant germs called superbugs that can make people sick.

Nutritionist Monica Salafia of Mind On Nutrition says, “what can happen down the line if someone were to get an infection and needed to be treated by antibiotics the antibiotics might not be strong enough because the bacteria inside of them might be beating out the antibiotics.”

If we want tougher health restrictions, Salafia says we must speak out.

We reached out to all 11 companies who earned an ‘F’ grade for failing to adopt and disclose effective antibiotic policies for a comment. Only Cracker Barrel and Arby’s responded to defend the quality of their meat.

Cracker Barrel's Statement: “We are committed to providing our guests with high-quality, homestyle food. If we can’t source quality ingredients that meet our high standards for a particular dish, we simply don’t serve it. This commitment to quality ingredients is how we provide authentic cooking that is rooted in real, homestyle recipes. We’re also committed to staying on top of the latest standards in animal welfare. We encourage our suppliers to lead the way in adopting the absolute best animal welfare practices. We use only beef, pork, and poultry raised without human-grade, medically important antibiotics.”

Arby’s Statement: “The grade we received in the report is due to our company not responding to the organization’s questionnaire. We comply with all applicable FDA guidelines, including those related to the use of antibiotics in our proteins, and we maintain a commitment to the highest food safety standards.” 

You can find the full report here.

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