KFC is aiming to stop using chicken with antibiotics in it from the end of 2018.
By the end of 2018, KFC said all birds used in its U.S. restaurants will come from farms where hens are raised without the use of antibiotics important to human medicine.
KFC said it its working with more than 2,000 poultry farms around the U.S.to make the change.
Meat producers give animals antibiotics to make them grow faster and prevent illness. Officials say it can lead to germs becoming resistant to drugs, making antibiotics no longer effective in treating some illnesses in humans. 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.
"To extend our commitment beyond our boneless menu items to all of our chicken required detailed and thoughtful planning over the past year, including utilizing the USDA's Process Verified program to ensure our suppliers can meet our requirements", said Vijay Sukumar, chief food innovation officer for KFC U.S.
Kentucky Fried Chicken was the last holdout of the big three chicken restaurants, after McDonald's and Chick-fil-A, to join the fight against the unsafe rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs and decide to drop their use.
"This announcement is a win for anybody who might someday depend on antibiotics to get well or even save their lives - i.e. everybody", Wellington added.
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"We recognize that it's a growing public health concern", KFC U.S. President Kevin Hochman said.
For one thing, KFC is a big buyer - it's the largest chicken-on-the-bone quick-service chain in the country.
Using data from a 2017 WATT PoultryUSA survey, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that more than 42 percent of the USA chicken industry is either under an antibiotics stewardship pledge or has already converted to responsible practices.
Right now the policy will only take effect at KFCs in the US, so you might want to hold off on eating at the chain if and when you travel outside the country - oh, and obviously until the 2018 antibiotic ban takes effect.
More information about these changes and additional ingredient work are available at kfc.com/responsibility.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least two million Americans are already infected with antibiotic-resistant infections every year, and at least 23,000 die as a direct result. Its Pizza Hut division has the same rules for pizza toppings.