McDonald’s announced on Wednesday that will start to use antibiotic-free chicken. The change  is to be made in over two years, the company said. It also announced that  later this year it will give customers the choice of low-fat and chocolate milk from cows that have not been treated with the growth hormone, rBST.

In 2013, it extimated that at least two million Americans have been affected by antibiotic-resistant infections and at least 23,000 people died.

“The last time McDonald’s did this, five other fast-food companies made similar announcements,” Steven Roach said. “I would expect  to see a similar pattern this time.”

McDonald will Limit Antibiotics in ChickenThe National Chicken Council said in a statement that the “vast majority” of antibiotics used for disease prevention were never given to humans. “Chicken producers have a vested interest in protecting the effectiveness of antibiotics for the welfare of their animals”said a trade group.”We’ve proactively and voluntarily taken steps toward finding alternative ways to control antibiotic use.”

“I think in a few years, one-third of chicken and turkey will be antibiotic-free,” Richard Kottmeyer said, according to a report on

Last September, Perdue became the first major USA poultry company to say it is no longer using antibiotics. Chick-fil-A made the same statement a year ago. Panera uses antibiotic-free for more than a decade but for McDonald’s it’s more difficult because of its size.

Mr. Easterbrook , the company’s new chief executive is meeting this week with McDonald’s  to present  his“Turn around Agenda”  that had success in Britain.