Amidst growing worries of antibiotic resistance, fast-food giant McDonald's announced that it would stop serving chicken raised with antibiotics that are important to human health. The company has agreed to follow the World Health Organization's (WHO) guidelines on not using antimicrobials in livestock. This move will help prod changes by the large industrial chicken suppliers which have fostered widespread use of human antibiotics among growers.
McDonald's said that it has been working closely with poultry farmers to cut back the use of antibiotics and hope to implement the new restrictions at its 14,000 US restaurants over the next two years. The company said that the antimicrobials from poultry suppliers will be limited to use for treatment and prevention of animal disease, and not for growth enhancement.
The company said, "While McDonald's will only source chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine, the farmers who supply chicken for its menu will continue to responsibly use ionophores, a type of antibiotic not used for humans that helps keep chickens healthy."