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Wendy's Is Ditching Antibiotic-Treated Chicken

Another major chain joins the movement

Wendy's Announces Plans To Sell Over 600 Of Its Restaurants Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Wendy’s is giving antibiotic-treated chicken the boot by 2017. According to Reuters, the fifth-largest U.S. fast food chain plans to completely phase out chicken raised with antibiotics from its meat supply by next year.

As of June, approximately 50 percent of the chain’s chicken was treated with antibiotics "important to human health." In regards to other meat including pork and beef, Wendy is still researching alternative treatments for livestock and expects to unveil goals for other antibiotic-free meats within the next year.

The Frosty slinger is the latest fast-food company jump on the antibiotic-free meat bandwagon: Industry leader McDonald’s announced last year that it would move away from antibiotics use in poultry, and on Monday confirmed it had fully shifted to antibiotic-free chicken. Major chains including Subway, Taco Bell, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut have all followed suit.

The changes are in response to public concerns as health officials worry that antibiotic use in agriculture is leading to an increase in antibiotic-resistant "superbugs." Antibiotics are routinely used by the livestock industry to help foster growth and prevent diseases. However, the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have long warned that treating animals with the same antibiotics used to prevent human diseases could pose a public health risk; bacteria that survive exposure to antibiotics may live to multiply and pass on their genetic immunity.

Exclusive : Wendy's to Ban Chickens With Human Antibiotics by 2017 [Reuters]

What McDonald's Is Really Doing by Banning Antibiotics in Poultry [E]

All Antibiotics Coverage [E]

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