UCLA Hospitals Serve Up Antibiotic-Free Beef And Chicken

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http://www.cbs3springfield.com/story/25146478/ucla-hospitals-serve-up-antibiotic-free-beef-and-chicken

SOURCE University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

New menu additions further medical center's focus on healthier eating

LOS ANGELES, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patients, staff and visitors to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica can now enjoy a healthier version of the traditional burger-and-fries lunch. The hospitals' menus now include burgers made from antibiotic-free, grass-fed beef and herb roasted potatoes, as well as antibiotic-free chicken breasts.

With the changes, the hospitals are helping lead the trend toward serving healthier, antibiotic-free meats.

This move is in line with other initiatives instituted recently by the health system to promote a healthier community, including banning fried foods, offering "meatless Mondays," and using biodegradable utensils and plates.

The menu enhancements were spurred in part by concern about bacteria's growing resistance to antibiotics. According to Dr. Daniel Uslan, an assistant clinical professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, an overuse of antibiotics in cows, chickens and other food-producing animals has helped make bacteria resistant to commonly used antibiotics, which in turn has led to more antibiotic-resistant infections in humans.

"With the effectiveness of key antibiotics dwindling, bacterial resistance presents a major public health challenge," said Uslan, who also is director of the antimicrobial stewardship program at the UCLA Health System. "It's critical that we reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in agriculture and support appropriate antibiotic use by clinicians and patients."

According to the Food and Drug Administration, 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used for food-producing animals. There is a growing public health concern that the antibiotics are being used mostly to promote faster growth in otherwise healthy animals and to compensate for unsanitary and overcrowded living conditions.

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