Chick-fil-A, the popular George-based fast-food chicken chain, said it plans to stop serving chicken raised on antibiotics in the next five years.
The restaurant juggernaut, famous for its chicken sandwiches and delicious waffle fries, said the action is partly because of customers’ concerns about he use of antibiotics in raising livestock.
Chick-fil-A’s announcement comes on the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s action to phase out the nonmedical use of antibiotics on farm animals in an effort to combat growing human resistance to crucial drugs per the Los Angeles Times.
“A shift this significant will take some time, as it requires changes along every point of the supply chain — from the hatchery to the processing plant,” said Tim Tassopoulos, executive vice president of operations of Chick- fil-A.
Tassopoulos said the company will start to post regularly quarterly updates to its website on their progress in 2015.
The announcement was praised by public health groups nationwide.
“Keep Antibiotics Working is happy to learn that Chick-fil-A is taking this step to meet its customers demand for meat from animals raised without unnecessary antibiotics,” the group said in a statement.
The privately held company has taken additional steps to improve its ingredients. They announced last year they had removed yellow dye from their chicken soup. They are also testing the removal of high fructose corn syrup from their sauces and dressings, artificial ingredients in its buns and TBHQ – a preservative – from their peanut oil.
Chick-fil-A is just the latest fast food restaurant to join the movement to remove controversial ingredients from their products. Chipotle, a Mexican fast-food restaurant, Chipolte has won high marks for its commitment to organics, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats, and produce sourced from local suppliers. Last week, Subway said it would remove an ingredient used in the production of foamed plastics such as yoga mats from their bread.