KFC is likely to come under pressure from consumer and environmental groups to change how its poultry are raised after McDonald’s said it would no longer sell chicken raised with human antibiotics.
McDonald’s announced last week it will phase out chicken raised with antibiotics for human health over two years to allay concern that use of the drugs in meat production has exacerbated the rise of deadly “superbugs” that resist treatment.
Retailer Costco Wholesale also said it would eliminate the sale of chicken and meat raised with human antibiotics.
KFC is owned by Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum Brands, which has no publicly stated policy on antibiotic use in the production of meat it buys.
Both McDonald’s and Yum are stepping up efforts to win back younger and wealthier diners lured away by chains such as such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, which boast antibiotic-free meats.
KFC restaurants in China two years ago suffered a massive sales hit following local media reports that a few poultry farmers supplying KFC fed excessive levels of antibiotics to their chickens.