US - Sandwich chain Subway has become the latest in a string of outlets to announce a transition to serving meat only from animals that have never received antibiotics.
The move affects over 27,000 stores across the US, and follows a recent commitment by the company to serve only chicken produced without the use of antibiotics important to human medicine.
Whilst chicken produced without antibiotics will be available from March 2016, with turkey transitioning to begin soon after, the move will not complete for pork and beef until 2025.
This means Subway is taking a more hardline stance on antibiotics than some other companies in the US, with McDonald's only committed to removing "antibiotics important to human medicine" in its chicken supply chain.
“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 (IPC).
“A change like this will take some time, particularly since the supply of beef raised without antibiotics in the US is extremely limited and cattle take significantly longer to raise. But, we are working diligently with our suppliers to make it happen.”
The US-based Natural Resources Defense Council had been campaigning for Subway to follow in the wake of other chains such as McDonald's by reducing antibiotic use. The organisation's Food Policy Advocate, Lena Brook, said in a statement: "This is a victory for public health—and sandwich lovers everywhere. This commitment from the world’s largest fast food chain is a giant step forward in the ongoing effort to get meat raised with routine antibiotics off more plates and menus."ThePoultrySite News Desk