Chick-fil-A Is Making a Big Change to its Chicken

Chick-fil-A Is Making a Big Change to its Chicken

Chick-fil-A's recent announcement signifies a departure from its previous practice of serving antibiotic-free chicken, with the change set to take effect this spring. The chain attributed this shift to concerns about maintaining a steady supply of chicken.

In a statement on its website, Chick-fil-A explained, “To maintain supply of the high-quality chicken you expect from us, Chick-fil-A will shift from No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) to No Antibiotics Important To Human Medicine (NAIHM) starting in the Spring of 2024.”

The distinction between NAE and NAIHM was clarified by Chick-fil-A: “NAE means no antibiotics of any kind were used in raising the animal. NAIHM restricts the use of those antibiotics that are important to human medicine and commonly used to treat people, and allows use of animal antibiotics only if the animal and those around it were to become sick.”

This change represents a departure from Chick-fil-A's previous commitment in 2014 to serve entirely antibiotic-free chicken, a goal it achieved across all its restaurants by 2019.

Under the new NAIHM policy, the use of animal antibiotics is permitted only when necessary for the animal’s health, excluding antibiotics critical for human medicine.

A spokesperson for Chick-fil-A told Fox News Digital, “As we looked to the future, the availability of high-quality chicken that meets our rigid standards became a concern. This change enables us to not only ensure we can continue to serve high-quality chicken but also chicken that still meets the expectations our customers count on us to deliver.”

This decision has generated criticism on social media platforms. One user expressed disappointment, saying, “Chick-fil-A going back on their no antibiotics ever commitment was not on my bingo card. It's been a good run,” and shared a screenshot of deleting the app from their phone.

Conservative podcast host Alex Clark urged people to stop eating at Chick-Fil-A, stating, “Just wanted to let you know that Chick-fil-A just walked back their NO ANTIBIOTICS EVER rule for their chicken. You have got to stop eating there.”

Chick-fil-A's move aligns with similar actions taken by other fast-food chains. Tyson Foods announced in July 2023 its transition to NAIHM production by year-end, having previously gone antibiotic-free in 2017. Additionally, Panera Bread announced in March that its U.S. stores would eliminate various claims related to food production practices, including "No Antibiotics Ever," by March 27.

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