McDonald's recently announced that they will stop purchasing chicken that has been treated with human antibiotics. The chain plans to fully phase out the meat within the next two years. Currently, the animals raised to make their nuggets, crispy chicken clubs and other popular poultry-based dishes are given commonly-used human antibiotics to keep them healthy and make them grow more quickly—both factors that help keep meat costs low.
We can’t deny that even after this transition, the Golden Arches’ chicken still won't be the paragon of healthy eating, but it's clearly a step in the right direction. Antibiotic use in meat isn’t as innocuous as it sounds; over time, it can cause antibiotic-resistant bugs to develop, which currently account for an estimated 23,000 human deaths and 2 million illnesses annually—in the United States alone. Frequent use of low-dose antibiotics in meat kills off weaker strains of bacteria and encourages the stronger, drug-resistant bacteria to evolve and multiply.
The Golden Arches’ decision may just be an industry game changer! We’re eager to see if other fast food chains will follow suit to keep up with McDonald’s new and improved quality and health standard.