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08 April 2017, 07:31 | Ignacio Smith
KFC takes human antibiotics out of its chicken
The fast-food chain said the change will be completed by the end of next year at its almost 4,200 restaurants in the US, thus becoming the latest company to switch to more natural and healthy food product.
"This commitment from the nation's most iconic fast-food chicken chain will have a major impact on the way the birds are raised in the USA and in the fight against the growing epidemic of drug-resistant infections", Brook said.
"Offering chicken raised without medically important antibiotics is the next step in that journey", said Kevin Hochman, president and chief concept officer for KFC U.S.
Meat producers often give animals antibiotics to make them grow faster and prevent illnesses. "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". Brands which owns the quick service restaurant. The brand has also made recent commitments to ensure all core products are free of artificial colors and flavors by 2018 and make its menu free of food dyes by this year, with the exception of beverages and third-party products.
KFC's antibiotic policy is set on a country-by-country basis, according to Yum! 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.
Vijay Sukumar, chief food innovation officer for KFC U.S., said the new policy applies throughout the bird's full life cycle, which includes the hatchery where chicks are sometimes injected with antibiotics while still in the shell.
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The NRDC, which has helped lead the push, estimated that 40 percent of the chicken industry is now either under an antibiotics commitment or is already using responsible practices. The group endorses KFC's move.
"It's making much more of a ripple effect", Wellington told Nation's Restaurant News. "Their commitment is one that we've been waiting for".
The CDC estimates that 23,000 people die each year from 17 types of antibiotic-resistant infections and that an additional 15,000 die from a pathogen linked to long-term antibiotic use.
According to KFC, the move won't result in higher prices for consumers because the cost increase is small enough that the company can absorb it.
"We recognize that KFC had to choose between business as usual with their chicken suppliers or demanding that they raise chickens in a manner that doesn't hasten the end of antibiotics", said Wellington. Other shareholder advocates, such as Green Century Capital Management, have secured antibiotics policies from Starbucks and Jack in the Box in the last several months.
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