MIAMI -- Good news, Burger King fans — the fast food chain is about to get even better in 2017. According to Reuters, Burger King announced on Wednesday that it will be eliminating the use of antibiotics in its chicken in the coming year.
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Burger King joins chains such as McDonald's and In-N-Out in pledging to rid its chicken of antibiotics "critically important" to human medicine, becoming the latest company to ditch antibiotics over health concerns.
In recent years, the use of antibiotics in livestock has become a growing concern among public health officials, who have warned that continued overuse of the drugs can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can make people sick. Every time antibiotics are used, some bacteria that has developed resistance to it can survive and multiply, leading to a higher chance of untreatable infections spreading.
According to the CDC, at least 2 million people in the U.S. are infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die each year because of those infections.
"We believe that it is important to reduce the use of antibiotics important for human medicine in order to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics in both veterinary and human medicine," Restaurant Brands, the company that owns Burger King, told Reuters in a statement.
Consumer safety and health researchers have warned against the use of antibiotics in livestock in recent years, and in 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued guidance to pressure meat companies to stop using antibiotics to animals to make them grow at a faster rate.
While experts say that the best way to tackle the issue is for physicians to reduce the amount of unnecessary prescriptions for patients, eliminating these antibiotics from our food is a good precaution, too.
SOURCE Kimberly Truong, Refinery29
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