LOS ANGELES – UCLA is serving antibiotic-free meat at the university's hospitals, according to a Los Angeles Times
Antibiotic-free beef and chicken products are now on the menus at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica. UCLA made the switch as part of its fight against antibiotic resistant "superbugs" and to send a "symbolic message" to patients and visitors, according to the report
. UCLA joins Whole Foods, Chipotle and Panera Bread, all of which already have stopped serving meat from animals fed antibiotics to promote growth.
The viability of antibiotic resistance and the effects of antibiotics in animal production has been the subject of debate for many years. In December 2013, the Food and Drug Administration issued final guidance on phasing out the use of "medically important antimicrobials" in animals used for food.
In September, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) issued a report that said more than 2 million people in the US get infections that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a result. CDC's recommendations for slowing the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria included only using antibiotics to treat disease.