15 Restaurants Rated Worst for Antibiotics in Meat

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The Golden Arches are shining a little brighter for consumers hoping to avoid antibiotics in beef — but Chipotle remains their best choice.

Those are the findings of a coalition of consumer groups that looked at restaurant-chain policies regarding the use of antibiotics in their beef supply chain.

The fifth “Chain Reaction” report from the groups noted big improvements at McDonald’s — but also gave failing marks to many U.S. restaurant chains.

Two restaurants got high marks: Chipotle received an A, while Panera Bread got an A-minus. It was the fifth straight year the two chains earned those marks.

The next highest-rated restaurants, McDonald’s and Subway, earned just a C grade.

However, McDonald’s improved from an F to a C due to its pledge to “monitor and reduce the use of medically important antibiotics in its beef supply chain,” according to the study authors. That commitment also earned McDonald’s the study’s “Biggest Moover” award.

Other restaurant chains fared poorly. Wendy’s received a D-plus, and Taco Bell a D.

The 15 restaurants that earned failing grades are:

  • Applebee’s
  • Arby’s
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Burger King
  • Chili’s
  • Domino’s
  • Dairy Queen
  • IHOP
  • Jack in the Box
  • Little Caesars
  • Olive Garden
  • Panda Express
  • Pizza Hut
  • Sonic
  • Starbucks

The study authors note that the use of antibiotics can cause health problems for everyone:

“The overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can cause life-threatening infections in people. We need our life-saving medicines to work, and because fast food companies are some of the largest buyers of meat, they are uniquely positioned to address this public health crisis.”

Organizations that participated in the analysis include:

  • U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Consumer Reports
  • Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University

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