Subway is joining other major fast-food restaurants and is ditching antibiotic-laden meat. But it’s slow going.
The company will be following in the footsteps of Chipotle, McDonald’s and Panera Bread when it stops using chicken that’s been treated by antibiotics by the end of 2016. But Subway, the largest fast-food chain in the world, is going further. Its plan is to start using antibiotic-free beef and pork as well. But due to supply chain limitations, that switch will take a decade — it plans to phase out beef and pork raised on antibiotics by 2025.
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“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,” executive vice president of Subway’s Independent Purchasing Cooperative Dennis Clabby said in a press release.
The move to antibiotic-free meats will take place only at Subway’s U.S. locations, which number a whopping 27,000-plus stores.
Earlier this year, the brand also announced it was removing all artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from its menu items in its North American stores. With this next step, it looks like the chain is serious about making its food more natural.