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Report Ranks Antibiotics Policies at Fast Food Chains

Only Chipotle and Panera get an A grade on antibiotics policies and sourcing practices, and most other fast food chains fail, according to a report by the Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Keep Antibiotics Working, Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, and Food Animal Concerns Trust. Chick-fil-a gets a B, while Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s get Cs.

The companies were rated on the quality of their policy, whether their policy applies to all types of meat, the availability of the meat produced without routine antibiotics, whether their programs are audited by a third party, whether the policy is available to the public, and whether the company responded to the report survey.

Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King, Denny’s, Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks managed to get at least one point in the report ranking. The other 14 chains on the list failed to get any points at all.

AntibioticsReportCard

Some notes from the report include:

  • Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill report that they currently offer an array of meat options produced without the routine use of antibiotics, including pork and beef.
  • Chick-fil-A, the largest U.S. chicken chain by domestic sales volume, has committed to serve 100-percent no-antibiotics chicken by 2019 and indicates that, as of March 2015, 20 percent of its chicken meets this standard.
  • Although Dunkin’ Donuts adopted good policies that apply to all meat served, it has not made public a timetable for when suppliers must meet company requirements, and it is unclear how much, if any, meat served in its restaurants meets policy specifications.
  • McDonald’s received fewer points because routine use of antibiotics is still allowed for “disease prevention” in the production of its pork and beef, and the company is not publicly reporting on the current percentage of poultry served that is raised without routine antibiotics.
  • Subway made news last month with its announcement of a new antibiotics use policy, but it’s unclear whether the policy entails the end of all routine antibiotic use in its supply chains.

To restaurants, the authors of the report say to take cues from Chipotle and Panera. To consumers, they say, “Your choice and your voice matter,” and suggest finding local restaurants that buy more sustainably produced meat.

“I want to thank these great organizations for the work they have done to highlight fast food company policies and honor those which made the grade,” Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) said in response to the report. “The companies that have failed to change their practices should examine this report and immediately make the change that the American public is demanding. Lives literally depend on it.”

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