Thursday, 9 December 2021

KFC to curb antibiotic use in the chickens it buys


LOS ANGELES: Yum Brands US KFC chain plans to curb the use of antibiotics in its chicken supply, making it the last of the big three chicken restaurants to join the fight against the rise of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs. KFC, the second-biggest US chicken chain chickens KFCby sales after privately held Chick-fil-A, is giving its US poultry suppliers until the end of 2018 to stop using antibiotics important to human medicine. Some 70 percent of antibiotics vital for fighting infections in humans are sold for use in meat and dairy production and medical researchers have concerns that overuse of those drugs may diminish their effectiveness in fighting disease in humans. McDonald’s Corp’s roughly 14,000 US restaurants last year stopped serving chicken raised with antibiotics considered important to human medicine. Its Chicken McNuggets are a top seller and the change put pressure on the rest of the industry to follow. Chick-fil-A is going a step further, vowing in 2014 to switch to poultry raised without any antibiotics at all by the end of 2019. Given its stature, KFC had been the focus of several antibiotic reduction campaigns by consumer, health and environment groups in addition to a coalition of British and U.S. shareholders with more than $2 trillion in assets under management. “We recognize that it’s a growing public health concern,” KFC US President Kevin Hochman told. “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,” Hochman said. The policy applies only to KFC in the United States and its 4,200 restaurants supplied by some 2,000 domestic chicken farms, said Hochman. KFC’s antibiotic policy is set on a country-by-country basis, he added. Yum spun off its KFC-dominated China division in November.

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