Following an alarming study that highlighted the widespread practice of antibiotics usage in fast food chains, Subway was one of the few chains to respond by promising to change their policies. The sandwich chain is following through on that original promise with an official announcement to cut all antibiotics from their meat supply by the end of 2025. The chain joins other fast casual chains like Chipotle, as well as fast food chains like Wendy’s, which is just starting to dip its toes into the antibiotic-free meat movement.
Starting in March of next year, customers will be able to order antibiotic-free chicken as an option, with a complete transition planned for the end of 2016. Turkey will follow within the next two or three years, with pork and beef bringing up the rear, getting “clean” by the end of 2025.
Why is antibiotic-free meat so important? Scientists contend that when animals are fattened up with growth-inducing drugs, they can “flood the system” with antibiotics, creating superbugs that are immune to those very same drugs. This could be extremely dangerous for humanity in the decades to come.
“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. “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.”