Panera Bread now offers “clean bacon,” though it is important to note that “clean” does not necessarily mean “healthy.”
The company has worked with suppliers over the past year to remove artificial nitrates and preservatives from the bacon used on its sandwiches and salads, Bloomberg reported. Clean bacon is part of a larger effort by Panera “to rid its menu of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners by the end of the year.”
Panera is the first national restaurant chain to serve clean bacon, thus putting itself a step ahead of its competitors, which is especially key in a time when cheap grocery prices have led to consumers eating at home more frequently.
The clean bacon is 25 percent thicker and “prepared using a new brine.” Even before removing the artificial additives, Panera sourced its pork from pigs that were fed a vegetarian diet and raised without antibiotics or gestation crates.