In-N-Out, the West Coast burger chain with a cult-like following, has finally appeased fans by addressing its controversial antibiotics policies and will begin phasing it out.
Many fast food chains in the past have opted for antibiotic-raised beef and chicken because it’s cheaper and more efficient. But now that the USDA has connected their usage to the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that could potentially make humans seriously sick, restaurant chains are making an about-face on their policies.Multiple public interest groups like CALPIRG Education Fund, Friends of the Earth, and the Center for Food Safety have pressured the privately-owned burger chain to join in the footsteps of other chains like Chipotle, Shake Shack, and Subway, which have already committed to antibiotic-free deadlines.
“Our company is committed to beef that is not raised with antibiotics important to human medicine and we've asked our suppliers to accelerate their progress towards establishing antibiotic alternatives," Keith Brazeau, vice president of quality In-N-Out Burger, told Reuters.
A timeline has not yet been set for those changes to take place. However, the company may have to speed up its antibiotic weaning: California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill last year that would set America’s strictest standards yet for antibiotic usage in livestock farming. The bill will go into effect in 2018.