By: Patricia Lopez
Does your New Year's plan include eating a healthy clean diet, like antibiotic free food?
McDonald's, Subway and other major chains have recently announced plans to reduce or eliminate antibiotic use in the meat they serve.
While those changes are a ways off, you can buy meat in the supermarket from animals raised without antibiotics.
The numbers are alarming: 23,000 Americans die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections.
Consumer Reports' Dr. Urvashi Rangan says the routine use of antibiotics in healthy animals is contributing to this problem.
"The overuse of antibiotics in farm animals along with the conditions that animals are raised creates an environment for resistance to develop and spread," Rangan says.
Resistant bacteria are turning up in the meat and seafood we eat. Consumer Reports tests over the past three years have found super bugs in 57 percent of the raw and uncooked samples of chicken inspected, 83 percent of the turkey, 14 percent of the beef, as well as 14 percent of the shrimp.
"The best meat and poultry practices ban the use of all antibiotics and other drugs in healthy animals for growth promotion and disease prevention," Rangan says.
But shopping for meat raised without antibiotics can be confusing. Take the natural label.
"It only means that the cut of meat does not contain artificial colors or additives and was minimally processed," Rangan says. "It has nothing to do with whether drugs were routinely used."
Consumer Reports says look for the organic label which certifies the animal was raised without antibiotics. You can look for labels with these terms: no antibiotics, no antibiotics ever, or never given antibiotics.
When it comes to the best chain restaurants that ban antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention, Chipotle Mexican Grill scored tops while Panera Bread was second across the board on most of their meats.
Originally Publihsed: KTRK-TV