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Report grades restaurants' antibiotics use

Posted: 6:07 PM, Sep 18, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-18 19:07:32-04

When diners line up at Chipotle Mexican Grill, they have a lot of choices to make: burrito or bowl, black beans or pinto. But one choice they don't have to make is whether their meat comes with antibiotics.

"If I'm putting good food into my stomach, I want the food I'm eating to be healthy as well. It's pretty important to me," Raunak Singh, a Kansas City, Mo., resident, said.

Friends of the Earth just released its "Chain Reaction" report, which grades fast food restaurants on the amount of antibiotics used in their meat and poultry. Two restaurants, Chipotle and Panera Bread, got A’s because they forgo antibiotics all together. Chick-Fil-A got a B. The remaining 22 restaurants got an F rating when it comes to antibiotic use in the meat they're serving customers.

To read the  "Chain Reaction" report , visit the Friends of the Earth site.

"If you know the animals are raised in a healthy manner and are not overly crowded and overly treated with antibiotics, that's probably a healthier product," said Dr. Lee Norman, the chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Hospital.

Dr. Norman takes the same stance as the Centers of Disease Control; the increase in antibiotic use, both medicinally and in the farming industry, could lead to antibiotic-resistant diseases.

"The antibiotic habits in terms of treating animals and feedlots, while it's a matter of concern, it's just one overall small consideration when it comes to what it takes to keep us healthy," said Norman.

Instead he said, when it comes to healthy eating, look at not only what companies aren't putting into their foods but also what they are putting into them as fat, cholesterol, sugar and calories have a more immediate impact on health.

"You notice that a lot of the companies rated aren't necessarily known for providing healthy foods," said the doctor. "Their portion sizes are quite large, they're high in sugars, cholesterol, fats, calories those kinds of things. I think that a person can have an eye towards healthier eating without necessarily worrying about how that hamburger was raised as an animal."

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Terra Hall can be reached at terra.hall@kshb.com .

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