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Good News From McDonald's: Antibiotic-Free Chicken

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McDonald's announced yesterday that the fast-food chain will no longer serve chicken that has been treated with antibiotics also used for human medicine.

"The decision by McDonald's, which is also one of the largest buyers of chicken in the United States, is likely to have a major impact on how poultry is raised and on the kinds of chicken restaurants serve," reports The New York Times.

In recent years, the amount of antibiotics used on animals has increased by 16 percent, according to the Food and Drug Administation (FDA). As a result, the CDC raised concerns about antibiotics use because of the increase in antibiotic-resistant infections Americans suffer from each year. But by eliminating or decreasing the amount of antibiotics that animals consume, human bacteria and other microorganisms will become less resistant to these drugs.

"All of the chicken served at McDonald's in approximately 14,000 U.S. restaurants comes from U.S. farms which are working closely with McDonald's to implement the new antibiotics policy to the supply chain within the next two years," states the McDonald's press release.

Later this year, McDonald's will also begin to offer low-fat milk and fat-free chocolate milk from cows that are not treated with the artificial growth hormone rbST.

The recent news is just another step towards improving the nutritional quality of fast-food meals in order to meet the wants and needs of today's customers. And as the largest fast-food chain in the world makes these changes, it's also likely that other fast-food chains will soon make similar announcements. In fact, McDonald's other policy to remove soda as an option for kids' meals will also go into effect this year, and many fast-food chains have already followed their lead.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She's a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

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Image: McDonald's arches via Shutterstock