The Grocerants Antibiotics Report Card

The Lempert Report
January 07, 2020

Grocerants should take note.

Consumer groups give many of the top restaurant chains in the United States failing grades for their policies regarding antibiotics used in their beef supply for burgers and other beef dishes. Arby's, Burger King and Jack in the Box received failing grades for having no policies for antibiotics in beef. Taco Bell and Wendy's earned Ds, due to what the report authors called insufficient plans to reduce antibiotic use. McDonald’s earned a C. Chipotle and Panera Bread earned top marks in the new report. Both received As for actively seeking out beef suppliers that only use antibiotics in animals when they get sick.

The report is the result of a combined effort from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumer Reports and the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, among others.

"Overuse of antibiotics in the beef industry threatens our health, and fast-food companies need to do more," said Matt Wellington, a co-author and antibiotics campaign director for the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

And to the best of my knowledge, I have not seen grocerants take advantage of this opportunity to educate their customers as to why they should skip the fast food place down the street and eat in their supermarket. 

Grocerants have typically positioned themselves for a multitude of choices, great taste and convenience, but aside from the salad bar, have not really positioned themselves as a place for healthier alternatives and certainly not touted their higher quality ingredients. 

Why not declare, and use, meats that do not contain anti-biotics, or use grass-fed beef, or free range eggs?

This is a huge opportunity for grocerants.