NUTRITION&FOOD Published September15, 2015 By Milafel Hope Dacanay

Many Fast Food Restaurants May Be Serving Meat with Antibiotics

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Do you exactly know what you're eating in fast food restaurants? A group has decided to score them based on their practices on using antibiotics on meat and transparency on where their supply is coming from.

Friends of Earth has released a report called Chain Reaction, which seeks to rank 25 of the most popular fast food restaurant chains in the United States, from A being (the highest) to F (being the lowest) as to their contribution in reducing antibiotic use in meat supply. Only 5 of them received a passing mark.

Getting an A rating were Panera and Chipotle, which is also the first non-GMO restaurant. Both are already using antibiotic-free meats for their offerings. Chick-fil-A, which specializes in chicken sandwiches, meanwhile, received a B. It has committed to becoming antibiotic free by 2019. Both Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's scored a C mainly for their lack of adequate transparency.

Belonging to the failing mark are:


  • Wendy's
  • Subway
  • Burger King
  • Denny's
  • Papa John's
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Starbucks
  • Olive Garden
  • Chili's
  • Taco Bell
  • Pizza Hut
  • KFC
  • Applebee's
  • Sonic
  • Jack in the Box
  • Arby's
  • IHOP
  • Dairy Queen
  • Little Caesars
  • Outback Steakhouse

These restaurants have failed to either completely eliminate the use of meats with antibiotics or report where their sources are coming from and whether they're using meat with antibiotics.

According to the same report, more than 65% of the antibiotics sold in the country are actually being used on farm factories, especially on chickens. Intended to control the spread of diseases in their coops, which are often packed with hundreds of chickens, antibiotics can have a profound effect on human health once the meat is eaten.

One of the biggest concerns is antibiotic resistance, which can affect as many as 2 million Americans and lead to the death of more than 20,000 people. Antibiotic resistance refers to the non-response of a bacterium to the standard forms of treatments such as antibiotics. This means that ordinary infections may already become deadly. The authors of the report cite the excessive use of antibiotics in the meat supply has contributed to the development of the superbugs.  

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