There was no indication from KFC that the practice would be extended to restaurant chains in Canada.
KFC says that it is planning to phase out all chicken that are raised antibiotics important to human medicine by the end of 2018.
Seventy percent of human antibiotics are now used for meat and dairy production to help prevent infections like E. coli in animals - aka to prevent vendors from taking losses when some animals naturally get sick and can't be sold as food for humans anymore. KFC specializes in Original Recipe, Extra Crispy™, Kentucky Grilled Chicken and Extra Crispy™ Tenders, Hot Wings™, Go Cups, KFC Famous Bowls, Pot Pies, freshly hand prepared chicken sandwiches, biscuits and homestyle side items. "This is something that's important to many of our customers and it's something we need to do to show relevance and modernity within our brand", Hochman told Reuters.
KFC also recently pledged to eliminate artificial colors and flavors from all of its core products by the end of 2018 and to have 100% of the menu, except for drinks and third-party products, free of food dyes by the end of this year.
Tapping into widespread consumer demand for meat raised without antibiotics, NRDC and allied groups- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, Food Animals Concern Trust, Center for Science in the Public Interest and Consumers Union-have been calling on the company to update their antibiotics policy. The chain, which has been the bane of some medical and animal rights groups for its resistance to this move, said its announcement today marks the first time a major national U.S. QSR chain has committed to using hens raised this way for bone-in chicken.
Yum spun off its KFC-dominated China division in November. The group endorses KFC's move.More news: Shadab romps into Test side
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More information about these changes and additional ingredient work are available at kfc.com/responsibility. "Their commitment is one that we've been waiting for".
This practice contributes to the growing epidemic of drug-resistant infections in humans.
Conservatively, at least 2 million Americans are already infected with antibiotic-resistant infections every year, and at least 23,000 die as a direct result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tyson, the largest US poultry producer and a KFC supplier, has announced plans to eliminate the use of human antibiotics in its chicken flocks by September 2017. The S&P 500 index is up 15.5% for the last 12 months.