KFC Pledges To Stop Using Antibiotics In Chicken

Better late than never?

On April 7, Yum Brand Inc.'s U.S. Kentucky Fried Chicken chain, announced that it will finally stop using antibiotics important to human medicine in its supply of chicken, and join its fellow chicken restaurants in attempting to curtail the possible rise of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs.

Honestly, this announcement probably should have come long ago -- as in, the second it was made clear that using chicken treated with antibiotics was super unethical and dangerous. However, KFC is now giving its poultry suppliers until the end of 2018 to totally quit using antibiotics.

"We recognize that it's a growing public health concern," said KFC U.S. President Kevin Hochman to Reuters on April 6.

"This is something that's important to many of our customers and it's something we need to do to show relevance and modernity within our brand."

Additionally, Lena Brook, a food policy advocate at the NRDC, is extremely excited about the planned switch.

"It's great news for fried chicken lovers, and most importantly it's great news for public health," Brook told Reuters. "Their commitment is one that we've been waiting for."

For now, the policy is only applicable to the U.S. KFC locations and the 4,200 restaurants that are supplied by around 2,000 domestic chicken farms. However, what's nice is that the new policy applies throughout every chicken's full life cycle. That means that the bird is even protected from being injected with antibiotics before it's even hatched and while it is still in the shell.

Yum Brand Inc.'s U.S. Taco Bell chain also already committed to serving exclusively antibiotic-free chicken, and its Pizza Hut division likewise won't serve chicken raised with antibiotics important to human medicine on its pizza.

What do you think about KFC's latest decision to join the antibiotic-free chicken pledge?