Yum's KFC to curb antibiotic use in the chickens it buys

Paterniano Del Favero
Aprile 19, 2017

NRDC estimates that more than 40 percent of the USA chicken industry is now either under an antibiotics stewardship commitment or is already using responsible practices, according to published statements and data from the WattPoultryUSA 2017 Survey.

Two years ago, California poultry producer Foster Farms began eliminating antibiotics from the chicken it sells at supermarkets, following similar steps by fellow poultry giant Perdue, along with restaurant chains McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle and Panera, among others. A coalition of consumer and public health groups, including U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group), had urged the company to act on the issue. By extending its commitment to bone-in chicken, many suppliers it uses will have to extend those policies to their entire flocks.

"This announcement is a win for anybody who might someday depend on antibiotics to get well or even save their lives - i.e. everybody", consumer group antibiotics program director Matthew Wellington said in a press release. "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", Hochman told Reuters.

KFC said is working with 2,000 farms around the country to stop using antibiotics that are used by humans. "It required close collaboration with more than 2,000 farms, majority family-owned and managed, in more than a dozen USA states where they raise our chickens".

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

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.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least two million Americans are already infected with antibiotic-resistant infections every year, and at least 23,000 die as a direct result. Brands in January 2016 cited these health concerns as key reasons for the restaurant company to phase out routine antibiotic use in their supply chain.

"This is another major milestone in our Re-Colonelization efforts", said Hochman.

The Louisville-based fast-food chain announced early Friday morning that it was now committed to eliminating antibiotics that are important to human medicine from all of its chicken.

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