This is the fifth publication of the Chain Reaction Antibiotics Scorecard. Despite significant progress seen in the chicken sector, the livestock industry still consumes nearly two-thirds of all medically important antibiotics sold for use in the United States.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the increasingly hard-to-treat infections they cause, are a global health crisis, risking a future in which common illnesses could once again become life-threatening on a large scale. The overuse of antibiotics in livestock production significantly contributes to the rise and spread of antibiotic resistance.
Fast food restaurants, as some of America's largest meat and poultry buyers, have played an instrumental role in pushing producers to use antibiotics responsibly, and should continue to leverage their buying power in support of better practices. This year we see some positive shifts in beef antibiotic use policies among restaurant chains, but these are in the early stages of adoption for the most part. Chain Reaction V grades the overall top 25 chains on their antibiotic use policies for beef sourcing, on implementation of these policies as reflected in current beef purchasing, and on transparency around antibiotic use in their beef supply chains.