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Subway, Starbucks get low ranking on antibiotics use

Subway, Starbucks, Burger King — and many more fast food chains — just got taken down a notch.

An environmental group ranked fast food chains across the country based on the use of antibiotics in the meat they serve and their policies on sourcing it, and all but five got an F rating.

The group, Friends of the Earth, looked at the policies each restaurant has on antibiotics, and their transparency about where the meat they serve comes from.

What they found, according to the report they put out this week, is that “Most top U.S. restaurant chains have no publicly available policy to limit routine use of antibiotics (either all antibiotics or medically-important antibiotics) for disease prevention and growth promotion in their meat and poulty supply chains.”

What is the concern about antibiotics in meat?

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put it, “Food animals serve as a reservoir of resistant pathogens and resistance mechanisms that can directly or indirectly result in antibiotic resistant infections in humans.”

Just five of the top 25 chain restaurants in the country have adopted publicly available policies on antibiotics, the report said.

Here’s how some companies did:

• Just Panera and Chipotle received A grades. They both offer many meat options raised without any antibiotics.

• Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s provide lots of information online for customers about their use of antibiotics, but only Chick-fil-A regularly reports its progress toward its goal of antibiotic-free chicken by 2019. So far, the company is at 20 percent without antibiotics.

Who did the worst?

• Subway, which has said they are interested in ending antibiotics in their meat, but haven’t adopted any sort of formal plan on it.

• Restaurants like Starbucks, Olive Garden, Wendy’s, Denny’s and Burger King have no policy on antibiotics at all.