Burger King, Tim Hortons to curb antibiotics used in chicken

December 30, 2016

community updates

By | CHICAGO/LOS ANGELES

CHICAGO/LOS ANGELES Restaurant chains Burger King and Tim Hortons plan to switch to chicken raised without antibiotics considered “critically important” to human medicine, their owner said on Wednesday, making it the latest company to ditch the drugs over health concerns.

Restaurant Brands International Inc, which owns both chains, said it aims to make the change in U.S. stores in 2017 and in Canada in 2018.

An estimated 70 percent of antibiotics that are important to fighting human infections and ensuring the safety of invasive procedures such as surgeries are sold for use in meat and dairy production.

Concern has been growing among scientists, public health experts, consumers and shareholders that the overuse of such drugs is contributing to rising numbers of life-threatening human infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria dubbed “superbugs.”

“We believe that it is important to reduce the use of antibiotics important for human medicine in order to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics in both veterinary and human medicine,” Restaurant Brands said.

The company did not immediately respond to requests for further comment.