Several large companies, namely Costco and McDonald’s, are taking a stand against antibiotics harmful to human health, citing that they have been overused in meat production, which, in turn, has furthered the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Costco announced that it set out new standards and monitoring requirements for its meat providers' antibiotic use in poultry, pork, and beef. Last Friday, the retailer updated its animal welfare policies to include this new provision, stating that the use of antibiotics would be limited to “therapeutic use,” meaning “the prevention, control, and treatment of disease and not, for example, for purposes of growth promotion or feed efficiency.” The Seattle Times reported that the company’s standard will become mandatory and monitored by December 2020.
McDonald’s also plans to cut antibiotic use in its meat over the next few years. According to The Wall Street Journal, the fast food chain will be working with meat suppliers in its 10 largest beef-sourcing markets to figure out how much of the antibiotics important to human health it will be able to remove from beef.
“McDonald’s believes antibiotic resistance is a critical public health issue and we take seriously our unique position to use our scale for good to continue to address this challenge,” said Keith Kenny, McDonald’s Global Vice President for Sustainability, in a statement.
Will other members of the supply chain follow suit? Deli Market News will keep you up to speed with the latest in meaty news.