On a recent report published by different consumer groups, many leading chains of fast-food restaurants in the US received lower grades due to the use of antibiotics in producing beef. The result is a joint project of the George Washington University, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Public Interest Research Group, and many other institutions.
Excessive use of antibiotics in producing beef is threating public health. That’s why fast-food chains need to improve the current situation,” said the author of the project.
The most significant problem is the surge of drug-resistant bacteria that happens when companies use antibiotics incorrectly and excessively to control and eliminate microorganisms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is important to improve antibiotic use and prescribing so that bacteria do not resist antibiotics. Animals or people should be prescribed with antibiotics only when they really need them for medically convincing reasons.
Drug-resistant bacteria in beef would eventually affect us when we consume undercooked or raw meat or touch the waste through contaminated swimming or drinking water.
The report examined the current policies of many fast-food chains in limiting the use of antibiotics in the production of their beef. Most of the leading companies had reduced grades for lacking proper policies to improve the situation.
Restaurants should protect the safety and health of their guests. Therefore, many of them provide information on ingredients and nutrients. And new policies on limiting the use of antibiotics are important to meet this goal.
Only two companies received top grades in the report. They earned as for actively searching meat supplies which just use antibiotics when animals get sick.
While many farmers give hormones and antibiotics to their animals excessively with the aim of increasing production, these two firms only purchased meat from those who use antibiotics responsibly.
Many leading chains such as McDonald and Starbucks earned failing grades for a lack of proper policies in preventing the use of beef with antibiotics in their supply chain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers antibiotic resistance to be one of the most significant threats to public health in the global scale. Earlier this year, it warned that drug-resistant infections would lead to more than 10 million deaths per year in the next 30 years.
In the United States, it is estimated that some drug-resistant infections like MRSA or E. coli already affect millions of people and kill thousands of people per year.