In recent weeks, the fast-food industry has made a renewed push to remove antibiotics from its chicken products. Among them:
Why the change? Antibiotics are used for animal health maintenance, disease prevention, and treatment of disease, but there’s a growing concern among consumers and health officials that these same antibiotics lead to an increase in treatment-resistant bacterial infections in humans. Thus, the food industry, including fast food, has been continuously moving away from the practice.
Additionally, there’s been a measured shift toward chicken and away from beef in fast food. According to a recent report by research firm Technomic, the top 250 U.S. restaurant chains added about 325 new chicken items during the 12-month period ended June 30, compared to just 73 new beef items. Analysts say this trend reflects consumer cravings for healthier, high-protein meat.