These fast food chains get an “F” for antibiotic use in their beef supplies.
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Arby’s, Burger King, Sonic, Panda Express and Applebee’s are just some of the 15 restaurants that got a failing grade on the annual Chain Reaction Antibiotics Scorecard, which grades restaurants based on their antibiotic food policies.
The report surveyed the top 25 U.S. burger chain restaurants in America, and the top 25 overall fast-food and fast-casual chains, about their meat and poultry supply chain, their antibiotic use policies for beef sourcing and transparency around their beef supply chains with customers.
|CMG||CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC.||1,003.91||+8.82||+0.89%|
|QSR||RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC.||54.56||+0.31||+0.57%|
Chipotle scored the top spot with an A, followed by Panera Bread, which earned an A-. Meanwhile, Starbucks, Little Caesars, IHOP, Chilis, Jack In The Box, DQ, Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings earned “F’s.”
Other chains included on the list include Taco Bell, which earned a D, and Wendy’s which received a D+.
McDonald’s went from an “F” on last year’s report to a C this year, vowing to audit suppliers and give regular reports to the public on its progress beginning in 2022.
Subway also received a C grade, committing to serve beef raised without antibiotics in its U.S. restaurants by 2025.
Antibiotics — drugs used to treat bacterial infections by stopping or killing the growth of harmful bacteria — have historically been given to farm animals like cows and pigs to treat or prevent illnesses from spreading. But when antibiotics are overused on animals, they become immune, and if an animal is carrying resistant bacteria, it can be passed on through meat that is not handled or cooked properly, according to Healthline.com.
“Antibiotics are widely overused in meat production, especially in beef production. There are no antibiotics in the meat itself, the problem is when meat producers overuse the drugs when they raise the animals it can breed drug-resistant bacteria, and if we get sick from one of them we can be in trouble,” Matt Wellington, a co-author on the study and campaign director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, told FOX Business. “Bacteria can travel off the farm and get to people through water runoff and the meat itself if it’s not handled or cooked properly.”
Shake Shack and BurgerFi were voted “Best Burger Joints” for the second year in a row on the Chain Reaction scorecard for having responsibly raised beef cooked at their restaurants. What’s more, both burger chains posted higher year-over-year sales from 2017 to 2018, showing that having better beef can boost a restaurant’s bottom line.
There seems to be a major market demand for sustainably raised food products that come from animals that are raised without antibiotics.
In 2012, sales of these foods increased by 25 percent in three years with major chains like Chipotle and Panera Bread setting the standard. Whole Foods Market, founded in 1980, was also an early pioneer to selling antibiotic-free meat since its inception, vowing to refuse animals that received antibiotics.
The Business of Food explores the rapidly changing $1.5 trillion food industry every Tuesday on FOX Business.