Posted February 17, 2014
 
Chick-fil-A recently announced that its restaurants will be serving antibiotic-free chicken within the next five years, according to an article by Agri-Pulse available here.
 
The decision is a response to public concern over antibiotic use by the meat industry.  Dan Cathy, company president and CEO, said, “Since our family business began nearly 67 years ago, we have focused on our customers – it’s why we insist on using the highest quality ingredients…We want to continue the heritage, and offering antibiotic-free chicken is the next step.”
 
The company said it is working with suppliers and asking poultry companies to coordinate with USDA.  It will also publish quarterly reports on its website starting in 2015 to keep customers informed on its progress.
 
Antibiotics are used in livestock to prevent diseases and to assist in an animal’s growth, according to a CNN article available here.   In 2011, about 29.9 million pounds of antibiotics were sold for meat and poultry production, whereas “7.7 million pounds were sold for human use, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.”
 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced a plan to phase out certain antibiotics in the food production industry.  The FDA states, “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.”

 

For more information on food labeling and food safety, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website hereand here.