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NEW YORK (AP) – KFC said it plans to stop serving chicken raised with antibiotics important to human health.

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The fried chicken chain said the change will be completed by the end of next year at its more than 4,000 U.S. restaurants. Other fast food companies have made similar pledges, including McDonald’s Corp.

Meat producers give animals antibiotics to make them grow faster and prevent illness, a practice that has become a public health issue. Officials have said that it can lead to germs becoming resistant to drugs, making antibiotics no longer effective in treating some illnesses in humans.

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KFC said it its working with more than 2,000 poultry farms around the country to make the change.

The chain, owned by Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum Brands Inc., said it is also in the process of removing artificial colors and flavors from certain menu items by the end of 2018.

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