Statement: Chick-fil-A completes phasing antibiotics out of its chicken supply

Media Contacts
Matt Wellington

Former Director, Public Health Campaigns, U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Fast food chain’s action provides big win in fight against antibiotic resistance


ATLANTA – In a big win for keeping antibiotics effective, Chick-fil-A announced today that it has officially met its 2014 goal of eliminating chicken raised with antibiotics from its supply chain and now serves No Antibiotics Ever(NAE) chicken in all 2,400+ of its U.S. restaurants. The company met its goal this past May, well ahead of its end of year deadline. 

The overuse of antibiotics in our meat supply fuels the spread of “superbugs,” resilient bacteria that are immune to the effects of antibiotics. This undermines the infection-fighting foundation of the modern medical system. A recent estimate suggests that drug-resistant infections cause the deaths of more than 160,000 Americans every year. By 2050, without swift action, infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria could lead to the deaths of 10 million people per year globally, more than cancer kills today.

Curtis Morris, a campaign associate with U.S. PIRG’s Hold the Antibiotics campaign, released the following statement

“Antibiotic resistance, fueled by the overuse of these life-saving medicines, is one of the largest health threats facing us today. These crucial drugs save countless lives every year. Getting medically important antibiotics out of the chicken industry is a huge step forward, and we applaud Chick-fil-A on its proactive and timely action on this issue.

“Chick-fil-A rightly called this switch an ‘industry-changing move.’ Large buyers of chicken such as Chick-fil-A can wield their size to influence the rest of the industry. Just 5 years after initial commitments from many chicken producers and restaurants, industry estimates show that more than half of U.S. broiler chickens in 2018 were raised under no antibiotics ever programs.”

“Having a company of Chick-fil-A’s stature complete the switch ahead of its deadline means other companies have no excuse not to take action. We need more restaurant chains and companies to undertake initiatives like this one, and to expand these commitments to the beef industry as well, which lags far behind the chicken industry in responsible antibiotic use.”