Burger King, Tim Hortons To Use Fewer Antibiotics In Chicken

Image courtesy of Morton Fox

Three months after earning its second consecutive “F” grade from public health advocates for its lack of any policy to limit the use of antibiotics in the meat it sources, Burger King’s parent company — which also owns donut chain Tim Hortons — has finally announced plans to cut back on overusing some of these drugs in the chickens it uses.

Restaurant Brands International has updated the “Responsibility” section of its corporate website to include a statement regarding its new commitment to curbing the use of certain antibiotics in chicken.

More precisely, RBI plans to “eliminate the use of antibiotics deemed by the World Health Organization as ‘critically important’ to human medicine from our chicken supply chain in the United States in 2017 and in Canada in 2018.”

This policy is still far behind — both in terms of timing and extent — policies already in place at Burger King’s competitors.

McDonald’s announced its plan to phase out medically important antibiotics in chicken in 2015, and completed that goal ahead of time in 2016.

Wendy’s has similarly been testing the waters on antibiotic-free chicken for more than a year, and intends to phase out the drugged-up birds entirely in 2017.

Taco Bell has said it plans to go antibiotic-free for its chickens in the coming year, but its corporate cousin KFC has thus far not responded to pressure from health advocates and investors who wish to see the chain curb its antibiotic use.

Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A has been working on phasing out antibiotics in its birds since 2014, with the goal of being entirely drug-free by 2019.

[via Reuters]