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PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2017 


In focus on our Friday Rundown; the U.S. Senate takes a first step towards passing major tax cuts; holiday help wanted as retail and restaurant job opportunities abound; plus, we report on a website that helps new moms take 12 from work.

Daily Newscasts

Dining Out? New Tool to Know What's In Your Food

Chipotle is one of only two national chains that earned an "A" in terms of its use of foods treated with antibiotics. Mike Mozart/flickr)
Chipotle is one of only two national chains that earned an "A" in terms of its use of foods treated with antibiotics. Mike Mozart/flickr)
October 4, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Where do your favorite restaurant chains rank when it comes to antibiotic usage in food? A new nationwide report ranks the top 25 chains for their antibiotics policies and practices.

At issue is misuse of antibiotics in meat and poultry production, which experts say puts human health at risk by breeding drug-resistant bacteria.

For the third year in a row, said Shelby Luce. an antibiotics program fellow at the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Panera and Chipotle were the only two major chains to get an "A" grade, because they reject routine antibiotic use through their entire supply chain. Further down the list is Kentucky Fried Chicken; Luce said KFC earned the "most improved" grade, "going from an 'F' grade to a 'B-minus' for its newly announced commitment to no longer serve chicken raised with medically-important antibiotics in its U.S. locations by 2018."

According to the report, 14 restaurants have taken action this year to curb routine use of antibiotics in their supply chain, compared with nine last year. Subway earned a "B+" and Chick-fil-A received a "B" in the ranking. Among those that received failing grades were Dairy Queen, Sonic, Little Caesar's and Cracker Barrel.

Luce said the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both warn widespread overuse of antibiotics is pushing us closer to a time when medicines could no longer work.

"Right now, 70 percent of medically important antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for use in animal agriculture, and fast-food restaurants are some of the largest meat purchasers in the world," Luce said. "So, their policies can completely shift the meat industry, for the U.S. - and eventually, hopefully, globally."

The report said no new progress was made in reducing antibiotic use in beef and pork. Luce said Dunkin Donuts moved up a grade to a "D" with its recent commitment to stop serving chicken raised with antibiotics by the end of 2018.

The "Chain Reaction III" report is online at uspirgedfund.org.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN