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Several popular fast food chains are still using antibiotics in their beef, report shows

Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 01, 2019

You've probably seen antibiotics labels on packaged food before.

What about the food you get elsewhere?

Consumer groups have a new "Chain Reaction" report on antibiotics in the fast food industry.

Panera and Chipotle received an "A" for the fifth year in a row. They use beef raised without the regular use of drugs.

McDonald’s moved from an “F” to a “C” rating for taking steps to reduce antibiotics.

Fifteen restaurants got an “F” for not having plans to use beef without antibiotics.

The most antibiotics are used in beef.

Animals raised in crowded conditions get antibiotics to prevent disease.

Experts say there has been some change in the fast food industry.

“We've seen some pretty incredible progress over the years especially when it comes to chicken,” says Matt Wellington with the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. “When we first started in the first year not many chains had passing grades. I think it was only about five who received grades above an ‘F’ and now the vast majority of chains, when we looked at their overall meat supply, are at least committing to sourced chicken raised without medically important antibiotics.”

Antibiotic-resistant infections lead to 160,000 deaths a year in the U.S.

David Ricci got one after an accident in India that cost him his leg.

“I was hearing from my doctor, ‘we can’t treat you with antibiotics. We have to cut out the infection and we don’t know exactly where it is, if we've gotten all of it. It’s really kind of hit-and-miss,’ and so that was pretty scary,” Ricci says.

He eventually recovered after multiple surgeries and taking a very toxic antibiotic. The side effects were similar to chemotherapy.

He is now pushing for change and legislation.

Read the full report below or click here.