Fast food restaurant chain Jack In The Box has committed to eliminating routine antibiotic use from its poultry supply by 2020. The announcement comes after successful discussions with Green Century Funds, a sustainable investment fund and shareholder of Jack In The Box.
Jack In The Box, which also owns Qdoba Mexican Eats, joins a growing list of major fast food restaurants committed to making this change, including McDonald’s, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread, Chipotle, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s. According to the US Public Interest Research Groups, seven of the top fifteen highest grossing restaurant chains and three of the top five chicken producers, including Perdue, have taken steps to eliminate routine antibiotics from their production.
In September, The Anti-Media called out Jack In The Box as one of several restaurants –including Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Arby’s — that failed to reduce antibiotic use in their animal livestock. This was brought to public attention after the release of Chain Reaction II, a report analyzing the use of antibiotics in fast food and restaurant brand meat published by several groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Center for Food Safety.
“The vast majority of this meat is produced in industrial-scale facilities where thousands and even tens of thousands of animals at a time are routinely fed antibiotics to help them survive and make them grow faster in unsanitary, crowded and stressful conditions,” the report explains.
The use of antibiotics in livestock has risen 23 percent in the last five years, contributing to antibiotic resistance and making the treatment of bacterial infections more difficult.
Seventy percent of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used in livestock and poultry production, according to the report, and 96 percent of these antibiotics sold for animal use are added to feed and water on a regular basis.
Major restaurant chains that have yet to commit to antibiotic-free poultry include KFC, Olive Garden, and Bojangles.
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