Every now and then, you have to give into that urge to head to a fast food joint and indulge in a burger so thick you can barely fit it in your mouth for that first bite. But when you’re sitting there rubbing your food baby, do you ever wonder, how many chemicals did I just eat?
We hate to break it to you, but most U.S. fast food burger chains have seriously subpar antibiotic policies, according to a new report.
Each year, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) collaborates with several other food safety organizations to grade the 25 largest national burger chains on their policies concerning the antibiotics in the meat they buy. Only Shake Shack and BurgerFi were given As in the 2018 report, which was released today, meaning their meat contains no antibiotics. (We know where we’ll be having our cheat days from now on.)
Antibiotic resistance is one of the top five threats to public health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so it’s pretty concerning that only two out of 25 burger chains serve completely antibiotic-free beef.
The NRDC report not only looks at whether these chains are putting policies in place to end the use of antibiotics, but also how well they’re being implemented and whether the companies are transparent about their progress. With all of these things in mind, Wendy’s was given a D, and the rest of the chains reviewed, including McDonald’s, Five Guys, and Burger King, received Fs. Sorry, but happy meals aren’t sounding so cheery anymore.
“Many companies have committed to ending or restricting the use of medically important drugs in chicken supply chains,” the NRDC report states. “Unfortunately, when it comes to beef and pork, we’ve seen little in the way of meaningful change.”
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Antibiotics are given to livestock to promote growth and fend off disease in the large industrial factories that house hundreds or even thousands of animals. The problem is, routine use of antibiotics has given rise to superbugs that are able to resist those drugs and can easily end up in your burger (uh, yuck).
The good news: Shake Shack and BurgerFi both have mouth-watering menus, and you can’t put a price on feeling confident about what you’re putting into your body.
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