We’ve all seen the letter grades that some restaurants get from the Health Department. In California these grades are posted in the window by law.

Mostly they are used to make sure those who handle food products handle them properly and that the eating establishment meets a high level of cleanliness.

Where Do Antibiotics Figure In?

What we’re talking about here is Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. According to the Center for Disease Control, Each year at least 2 million people get an antibiotic resistant infection in the US and 23,000 of those people die.

On the human side of the equation, the Obama Administration set a goal of reducing inappropriate antibiotic use in outpatient settings by half, and in inpatient settings by 20 percent.

However, the Obama Administration set no national targets for reducing antibiotic use where the overwhelming majority of U.S. antibiotic sales occur—in the livestock industry.

Instead, the Obama Administration relied on existing efforts of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), embodied in the agency’s Guidance 209 and 213, to end the marketing of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion and to require producers to have a veterinarian’s order to continue putting these antibiotics into feed or water.

Where Does Your Burger Joint Rank?

Sadly, almost all large well-known chains failed in their use of meat containing antibiotics injected or fed to their animal meats.

McDonald’s, Burger King, White Castle and Five Guys all got a failing grade.

In fact twenty-two of the top 25 burger chains got a failing grade regarding their antibiotic beef policies.

Shake Shack and BurgerFi were the only two chains that received an “A” rating.

Wendy’s got a “D- “and Fudrucker’s, while getting an “F,” does have an option on their menu for antibiotic free beef on request.

Why Is This A Big Deal?

When antibiotics are overused in livestock resistant bacteria can spread putting humans at risk of having life-threatening infections.

Diseases become harder to treat and vital surgeries become more dangerous due to infection.

Some Final Thoughts

Every day it seems I find one more thing that’s dangerous for me to consume. At my age I’m not sure the risk outweighs the reward.

I probably won’t give up Quarter Pounders at this point but for those of you who might want to be around 50 years from now you might see if there’s anything that can be done to regulate the beef industries use of antibiotics.

I’m guessing they have a really big lobby in Washington. So best of luck.

Do you want fries with that?

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