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Pizza Hut to Cut Down Antibiotics Use in Poultry Products to Help Slow Down Rising Rates of Antibiotic Resistant Super Bug

Jun 06, 2016 10:26 AM EDT
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Yum! Brands, the parent company of Pizza Hut, has recently announced that it will eliminate the use of antibiotics important to human medicine from chicken for their pizzas by the end of March 2017.

Their announcement, which coincides with the celebration of their 58th anniversary, has received positive remarks from the folks at Natural Resources Defense Council.

"Thumbs up and thanks from the antibiotics team here at NRDC! Public, concrete commitments like this help build momentum for antibiotic stewardship across the industry. We hope Pizza Hut extends the policy to any remaining chicken items on its menus, and to other meats," wrote Jonathan Kaplan of NRDC in their blog.

According to Kaplan, the use of antibiotics in food animal's production contributes to the rising rates of antibiotic resistance. Some bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotic if the drug is used over and over again.

Late last month, researchers have discovered a strain of E. coli carrying 15 different genes conferring antibiotic resistance, making it resistant to a wide range of drugs. The superbug was detected in a Pennsylvanian woman and is immune to Colistrin, humanity's last line of defense against super bugs.

Along with the elimination of antibiotic use, Pizza Hut has also announced its commitment in removing BHA/BHT, a potent antioxidant used to make foods taste better for a longer period of time, by the end of July 2016. The pizza company also plans to remove artificial preservatives in the cheese they use to make their world-class pizzas.

"Providing our customers with restaurant quality ingredients is something that has been at the core of Pizza Hut since the very first restaurant opened in Wichita 58 years ago. It's so fundamental to our superior restaurant quality beliefs that we rarely feel the need to talk about it," explained Jeff Fox, chief brand and concept officer at Pizza Hut, in a press release.

"That said, 58 years later, we are extremely proud to say that we still get our vegetables, our meats, our tomatoes, our flour, our cheese - everything that makes a great pizza - from top suppliers around the world. We are constantly working to lead the industry in this area and believe it is important to let customers know exactly where their food comes from and how it's made." Fox continued.

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