SUBWAY Restaurants announced this week it has updated its antibiotic-free policy and will transition to only serving protein from animals that have never received antibiotics across all of its 27,000 U.S. stores in 2016.
This is the latest step the company has taken to improve its menu to include more items that consumers are seeking when it comes to the foods they eat. In June, the company announced it would remove all artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from its sandwiches, salads, soups and cookies in North America by the end of 2017.
Starting in March 2016, customers in the U.S. can order meals made with chicken raised without antibiotics. Turkey raised without antibiotics will be introduced in 2016 with a complete transition expected within 2-3 years. Pork and beef raised without antibiotics will follow within six years, with an estimated completion date of 2025.
“Today’s consumer is ever more mindful of what they are eating, and we’ve been making changes to address what they are looking for,” said Dennis Clabby, executive vice president of SUBWAY’s independent purchasing cooperative. “A change like this will take some time, particularly since the supply of beef raised without antibiotics in the U.S. is extremely limited and cattle take significantly longer to raise. But, we are working diligently with our suppliers to make it happen. Given the size and scope of the Subway brand, this commitment is the largest of its kind in the restaurant industry. We hope that this commitment will encourage other companies in our industry to follow our lead, and that, together, this will drive suppliers to move faster to make these important changes for consumers.”