How to Avoid Antibiotics in Fast Food

If you want to avoid eating antibiotics in your fast food, there’s now a convenient scorecard!


The Consumers Union ranked the antibiotic policies of the 25 largest fast food and fast casual chains in the U.S.

Chipotle® and Panera® came out on top while Domino’s Pizza® and Arby’s® were among the chains that earned an “F” for having no antibiotic policies in place.


Why is it important to avoid eating antibiotics in your food?


According to the report, antibiotics aren’t working as well as they used to.  23,000 people die each year from infections that are no longer treatable with antibiotics.  This antibiotic resistance stems largely because of our chronic exposure to antibiotics.  Part of that exposure is from our food supply.


Roughly 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are fed to livestock, or farm animals.  That means, some of the animal products we eat are contaminated with bacteria that we cannot kill with common antibiotics.  It also means that, unless you choose organic, you probably consume antibiotic residues in your meat and poultry.  Those residues may lead to antibiotic resistance in your own body.


Fast Food restaurants are “in a unique position” to move the market.   McDonald’s is the largest buyer of beef in the U.S. while 1/4 of all chicken produced in the U.S. is purchased by fast food chains, according to the report.  If fast food restaurants said “No” to antibiotics in their meat and poultry, it would effect the entire food chain.  Even if just the top buyers in the fast food industry switched to antibiotic-free meat and poultry, it could effectively slow down the spread of antibiotic resistance in humans!


Let’s help the fast food restaurants get antibiotics out of our meat and poultry!


What You Can Do:

1. Send a message to the fast food restaurants by “Feeding the Good & Starving the Bad.”      

    Support the companies who scored high on the Consumer Unions scorecard and starve the

    companies who have not committed to reduce antibiotic use.    

2. Call or email your favorite fast food restaurant and ask them to commit to sourcing their

    meat and poultry from producers that do not use antibiotics.  

3. When you eat at a restaurant or fast food chain, ask the manager about their meat sourcing

    policies.  Tell them you want meat produced without the routine use of antibiotics.

4. Share the scorecard with friends and family so that together we can move the market.



1. Read the full report HERE.



Image is from the Chain Reaction III Report issued, in part, by Consumer Reports.

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