McDonald's decision to phase out human antibiotics from its chicken supply is part of the fast food chain's efforts to please customers looking for more natural ingredients, but it still falls short of rivals' policies. Bobbi Rebell reports.
McDonald's making another comeback move promising to gradually stop buying chickens raised with antibiotics used in human medical treatment. Consumer advocates and public health experts fear overuse of antibiotics could be hurting their effectiveness in fighting disease in humans. The policy change could help make McDonald's more appealing to health-conscious consumers. Darren Tristano of restaurant consulting firm Technomic: SOUNDBITE: DARREN TRISTANO, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNOMIC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think what McDonald's is doing is trying to play catch-up in an industry that has started to get rid of hormones and antibiotics in a lot of the supply chain proteins, like chicken and beef, so they are playing catch up to brands, like Chipotle, which has really done a great job of bringing better ingredients to the market place." McDonald's has been struggling to win back customers who are demanding food made with fewer additives and more natural ingredients. But it still falls short what chains, like Chipotle and Panera Bread, have done. But the fast-food giant does have one thing working in its favor... a healthier economy. SOUNDBITE: DARREN TRISTANO, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNOMIC (ENGLISH) SAYING: 'With disposable income, consumer confidence, and even unemployment numbers improving dramatically, I think, what we'll see is more Americans going out, McDonald's numbers should get back to flat and, hopefully, improve over the next year or two years. McDonald's plans to phase out use of antibiotics in its poultry menu items at its roughly 14,000 U.S. restaurants, not the approximately 22,000 international locations.