Chick-Fil-A announced this week that they will be making the move to antibiotic-free chicken for all 1,800 restaurants within the next five years, a big move that will require quite a bit of strategic planning.
The Atlanta-based company says the main concern will be an adequate supply, which has been an issue for companies like Chipotle after they made the switch to what they call "responsibly raised" meat. Chick-Fil-A has asked their suppliers to have all poultry inspected by the FDA to ensure it is free of antibiotics.
"Since our family business began 67 years ago, we have focused on our customers. It's why we insist upon using the highest quality ingredients," Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, said in a statement. "We want to continue that heritage, and offering antibiotic-free chicken is the next step."
The use of antibiotics in animals groomed for consumption has grown over the years as farmers not only use them to prevent illness, but to increase growth. However, the FDA has warned against it, saying it eventually causes a resistance in the animals. In fact, they have already begun a plan to phase out the use of the drugs in animals.
"Because all uses of antimicrobial drugs, in both humans and animals, contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance, it is important to use these drugs only when medically necessary. Governments around the world consider antimicrobial-resistant bacteria a major threat to public health. Illnesses caused by drug-resistant strains of bacteria are more likely to be potentially fatal when the medicines used to treat them are rendered less effective," reads a statement on the FDA website.
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