Report Ranking Fast Food Chains on Beef Sourcing Released by Antibiotic Resistance Action Center and Others

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 31, 2019) – The Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC), based at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH), co-authored a report released by a coalition of public health and advocacy groups on Oct. 31 examining antibiotics use in the beef supply used by fast food companies.

The fifth-annual report, titled Chain Reaction, finds top fast food chains in the United States continue to sell beef produced with routine antibiotic use. Curbing antibiotic use in livestock is essential to combating the growing epidemic of antibiotic-resistant infections in people and animals. Companies can be leaders in moving this work forward, the report says. 

The report graded the top fast food restaurants nationwide on the antibiotic use policies and practices behind the beef served in their restaurants. Top performers include Chipotle (A) and Panera (A-), which earned grades in the “A” range for the fifth year in a row. They were followed by McDonald’s (C) and Subway (C), who have strong policies. Wendy’s (D+) earned a grade in the “D” range for the second year in a row. Taco Bell received a “D” for announcing they would reduce medically important antibiotics by 25 percent but not until the year 2025.

“Our federal government is not working at a pace equal to the crisis we are facing from antibiotic resistance,” said Laura Rogers, managing director of ARAC. “So, we must look to the marketplace for leadership. We've seen great progress on chicken, we need leadership now in the other meat sectors.”

ARAC works to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by engaging in research, advocacy, and science-based policy, and is focused on finding solutions to antibiotic resistance, which is a great public health threat. Click here for more information.

Click here to read the Chain Reaction report. The report was produced by Natural Resources Defense Council, ARAC, Consumer Reports, Food Animal Concerns Trust, U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Center for Food Safety.