Have you heard about McDonald’s recent announcement that it will no longer serve poultry raised with human antibiotics? For those who don’t know, antibiotics are commonly used to treat humans with infections and illnesses, including ear infections, pinkeye, strep throat, food poisoning and pneumonia. Furthermore, McDonald’s is one of the largest buyers of chicken in the United States.
Mike Andres, McDonald’s U.S. President, said the following in a statement:
“Our customers want food that they feel great about eating – all the way from the farm to the restaurant – and these moves take a step toward better delivering on those expectations.”
“We will continue to look at our food and menu to deliver the kind of great tasting and quality choices that our customers trust and enjoy.”
Tyson Foods has come out in support of McDonald’s recent decision and has said it will work with the world’s largest restaurant chain to help meet these new standards. It’s important to point out that Tyson Foods has already taken the necessary precautions to reduce the amount of antibiotics used in its meat. Since 2011, Tyson Foods has reduced the use of antibiotics by more than 84 percent.
Costco has also stepped forward, saying it would no longer source poultry and other meats that have been treated with antibiotics, but the question that’s on many people’s minds is, “Why now?” For many folks, this recent announcement only confirmed their suspicions of the quality and safety of the ingredients that are used in McDonald’s food.
And it’s no secret that McDonald’s just suffered its worst sales slump since 2001. Therefore, many are speculating that the fast-food chain’s recent decision to stop serving poultry raised with antibiotics is a way to compete with its rivals, including Chipotle and Panera – these restaurants pride themselves on using nothing but high-quality ingredients.
What’s even more disturbing is the fact that back in 2011, approximately 30 million pounds of antibiotics were sold solely for the purpose of treating meat and poultry, according to the FDA. With McDonald’s, Tyson Foods and Costco leading the way of change, consumers can expect many other major food companies to follow in their footsteps.