A new “scorecard” gives a failing grade to 20 of the country’s 25 largest fast-food and fast-casual restaurants because of the use of antibiotics in their food supply chain.
The scorecard is part of a report titled “Chain Reaction: How Top Restaurants Rate on Reducing Use of Antibiotics in Their Meat Supply.” It was produced by the nonprofit organization Friends of the Earth in cooperation with several other nonprofits, including Consumer Reports’ policy and action arm, Consumers Union.
The scorecard, which Friends of the Earth intends to reissue annually, “assesses the commitments of U.S. restaurant chains on antibiotics use and transparency in their supply chains.”
One goal of the scorecard is to help consumers make more informed decisions when eating out. Another goal is to encourage restaurants to adopt better policies regarding the routine use of antibiotics in their food supply’s livestock that are raised on so-called factory farms.
On these large-scale, industrial farming operations, the report states, antibiotics “are often used to accelerate animal growth and prevent diseases stemming from poor diets and crowded, stressful and dirty conditions, rather than for treatment of sick animals”:
When livestock producers administer antibiotics routinely to their flocks and herds, bacteria can develop resistance, thrive and even spread to our communities, contributing to the larger problem of antibiotic resistance. The worsening epidemic of resistance means that antibiotics may not work when we need them most: when our kids contract a staph infection (MRSA), or our parents get a life-threatening pneumonia.
The 20 restaurant chains that earned an “F” are:
- Burger King
- Chili’s Grill & Bar
- Dairy Queen
- Domino’s Pizza
- Jack in the Box
- Kentucky Fried Chicken
- Little Caesars
- Olive Garden
- Outback Steakhouse
- Papa John’s Pizza
- Pizza Hut
- Sonic Drive-In
- Taco Bell
The five chains that earned a passing grade are:
- Chipotle Mexican Grill (A)
- Panera Bread (A)
- Chick-fil-A (B)
- Dunkin’ Donuts (C)
- McDonald’s (C)
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