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Chicken meat served in some global fast foods joints is not safe, reveals study

By Mercy Kahenda | August 8th 2021

Chicken meat served in popular fast-food restaurants is not safe, consumers in Kenya and across the region have been warned.

Farmers are reported to overuse antibiotics in production of chicken supplied to the joints, risking the health of consumers.

An audit report by the World Animal Protection has revealed that overuse of antibiotics fuels diseases that kill over 700,000 people annually.

“Intensive farming methods also often rely on routine antibiotic use as a quick fix solution to keep stressed and sick animals alive,” reads a section of the report finding.

The report released this week noted that global fast foods restaurants in Africa do not adhere to animal welfare.

According to the report, at least seven global fast food restaurants that have set up shop in Africa do not adhere to the same animal welfare standards for their Africa markets.

Farming is also coupled with poor hygiene and sanitation, leading to many chickens suffering from lameness and skin lesions.

Not only are chicken reported to suffer due to poor farming practices, human health is also jeopardised, according to the report.

The audit was done by The Pecking Order 2021, which ranked fast food restaurant globally on how they perform on their commitment, ambition and transparency on chicken welfare in their supply chain.

Assessment was done in three areas namely corporate commitments, objectives and targets, and transparency.

The corporate commitment looked into policies that address how important welfare of chickens are to the company.

Objectives and targets looked at promises a company has made to improve chicken welfare.

The audit looked at transparency, though how respective companies live up to their promises on chicken welfare, done through their performance reporting.

“For the first time, in addition to the global assessment, 14 local rankings have been also created to reflect the realities in different geographies,” noted the report.

In the findings by The Pecking Order 2021, the European countries are showing genuine progression.

One of the fast food chain, according to the report, was cited for doing less to adhere to chicken welfare in African states compared to its similar operation in Europe.

The company outlets in Latin America, Africa and Asia are adhering to the commitments.

Dr Victor Yamo, farming campaign manager at World Animal Protection, said irrespective of business, a significant number of companies and outlets do not adhere to animal health.

“Many big brand restaurants are denying billions of birds the chance to grow at a healthy rate or behave naturally,” said the official.

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