We hear all the time about companies boasting antibiotic-free beef and poultry, but according to a recent study from Friends of the Earth, which scrutinized the policies and practices of major fast food companies, most chains plump up their meat with growth-inducing antibiotics, which can be extremely dangerous for our health in the future.
“Overusing antibiotics in meat production helps to create drug-resistant superbugs—our nation’s largest chain restaurants can be part of the problem, or part of the solution.” said David Wallinga, MD, senior health officer with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Restaurants billing themselves as a ‘healthier’ option, like Subway, have a particular responsibility to live up to that image by reducing antibiotics.”
According to the study, only five chains received passing grades: Chipotle and Panera received A scores, Chick-fil-A got a B, and Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s barely passed with C grades. The worst offenders that continue to use antibiotics in their meat and do not have policies addressing the issue include Olive Garden, Papa John’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Applebee’s, Dairy Queen, and Arby’s. Other failing restaurants include Wendy’s, Burger King, and Starbucks.
In response to the survey, Subway, which originally received a score of 31 percent out of 100, said that the chain plans to “transition to chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine in 2016" and to “eliminate the use of antibiotics in products across the menu.” The study’s authors, however, say that they have not responded to inquiries about their new policies.
The Daily Meal has contacted Subway and a number of other failing fast food chains about the results of this study.