KFC to cut antibiotics from chicken by 2018

KFC

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KFC

KFC announced plans to stop using chicken that contains antibiotics in the United States by the end of 2018, USA Today reported.

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The fast-food chain, which has more than 4,200 restaurants nationwide, said Friday it is cutting antibiotics out of its boneless and on-the-bone chicken.

KFC joins other chains, like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Chipotle and Panera, that have made similar pledges to eliminate antibiotics from their chicken.

Treating farm animals with antibiotics can cause resistant bacteria to grow and if people are infected from improper handling or cooking, they run the risk of serious illness or death, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“We share the public’s concern about ... antimicrobial resistance,” Kevin Hochman, president of KFC U.S, told USA Today.

KFC said the move would not cause a price increase, but Hochman said that growers will have to raise more chickens to meet size demands, USA Today reported. However, that move could result in generally healthier birds since farms will be less crowded, Hochman said.

KFC worked with more than 2,000 farms, most of them family-owned and managed, in a dozen states to implement the new policy, USA Today reported.

The move is part of the chain's attempt to get back to its roots, an image overhaul the company calls “re-Colonelization” — a reference to the chain’s iconic founder, Col. Harland Sanders.