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The move by the giant fast-food chicken chain comes after years of pressure from food safety and consumer advocacy groups, and two years after other industry leaders such as McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell made similar pledges to phase out the use of products from animals treated with the antibiotics - a practice linked to the rise of "super bug" pathogens that are resistant to multiple drugs.
“By the end of 2018, all chicken purchased by KFC in the U.S. will be raised without antibiotics important to human medicine,” KFC said. “This includes our chicken tenders and popcorn chicken; but we’re especially proud to be the first major chicken chain to extend this commitment to our bone-in chicken.”
The policy change is expected to have a widespread effect on the poultry industry, because KFC — owned by Yum Brands — buys its chicken from a great many flocks as a food-safety precaution, according to Lena Brook, food policy advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the groups that pushed for the move.
With KFC’s shift, more than half of the nation’s poultry supply chain will be antibiotic-free in the near future, advocates said.
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