It’s no secret that obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. Too many people are consuming an overabundance of calories, along with saturated fats, sugar and other harmful substances hidden in their food. Many people are making an effort to eat healthier, but sometimes, life gets in the way. Takeout often ends up being the quickest, easiest – and sometimes even the cheapest – option.
A collaborative new report recently ranked the 25 largest US fast food and causal restaurant chains based on their policies and practices when it comes to antibiotics in their food. For the second year in a row, Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill were the only two chains to score an A grade.
What’s The Deal With Antibiotics In Meat?
About 80% of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used in meat and poultry production. The majority is used on healthy animals to promote growth or prevent disease in crowded and unsanitary conditions. The overuse of antibiotics in food has resulted in a dangerous antibiotic resistance which has become a major health threat.
The CDC estimates that at least two million Americans contract antibiotic-resistant infections every year. The American Academy of Pediatrics explained that the overuse of antibiotics in animals can make bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter stronger and resistant to drugs that were previously able to ward them off.
Antibiotics In Food: The F Ratings
Public health agencies have declared antibiotic resistance a top health threat in the United States, and the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock production is a major cause. If takeout is your go-to on weekends or busy week day nights, you’ll want to see which restaurant chains scored an F grade when ranked on their antibiotic policies and practices:
2. Dunkin’ Donuts
4. Olive Garden
7. Jack In The Box
8. Burger King
10. Domino’s Pizza
12. Little Caesars
13. Buffalo Wild Wings
14. Dairy Queen
The majority of these restaurants were given F ratings because:
- These food chains continue to have non-disclosed policy on antibiotics use in their meat and poultry
- They have policies that allow for the continued, routine use of antibiotics in the production of the meat they serve
- These food chains continue to keep customers in the dark about their meat sourcing policies
- They refuse to respond to requests for information regarding their antibiotics policies
Antibiotics In Food: The A Ratings
Only two restaurants were given an A rating this year. If you’re having one of those days where fast food is your quickest and easiest option, you might want to consider making Panera Bread or Chipotle your go-to. These two are the only restaurant chains that offer an array of meat options produced without the routine use of antibiotics. As of Fall 2016, 91% of all meat and poultry served at Panera Bread is raised without antibiotics.