TORONTO—As part of a continuing effort to rehash its image, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd. has announced a new initiative to only source chicken raised without antibiotics that are used in human medicine by the end of 2018.
“Our guests want food that they feel great about eating – all the way from the farm to the restaurant – and this move takes another step toward better delivering on those expectations,” John Betts, president and CEO of McDonald’s Canada, said.
The move follows a company plan announced last month that will phase in cage-free, also known as free-run, eggs at the fast food chain over the next 10 years.
The restaurant added the initiative will include all of the chicken served in its more than 1,400 Canadian restaurants—from McNuggets to McChickens. The company intends to work closely with Canadian chicken farmers to implement the policy within the next three years.
“McDonald’s believes antibiotics have important benefits, but that a few sensible changes to our policy can both maintain their most important benefits while helping to reduce their use overall,” Rob Dick, senior director of McDonald’s Canada’s supply chain, said.
While the move will eliminate chickens raised with antibiotics used in human medicine from the restaurant’s supply chain, McDonald’s will continue to buy from farmers who supply chicken raised with ionophores, a type of antibiotic not used for humans.
“We are proud to be known for our leadership through our sustainability and sourcing initiatives,” Betts said. “We are excited about the journey we are on and will continue to look at evolving our food and menu to deliver the kind of great tasting and quality choices that our guests trust and enjoy.”