NEW YORK (Reuters) – Yum Brand Inc’s Pizza Hut chain will fully phase out chickens raised with certain antibiotics in its U.S. restaurants by 2022, in the latest push by a major restaurant chain to follow healthier food practices.
The restaurant had announced in 2016 plans to remove antibiotics important to human medicine from chicken for its pizzas by the end of March 2017. The move announced on Tuesday will include all antibiotics considered important to human medicine in all its chicken products, including its WingStreet wings.
There have been growing concerns among public health experts, consumers and shareholders that the overuse of such drugs is contributing to rising numbers of life-threatening human infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria dubbed “superbugs.”
An estimated 70 percent of antibiotics important to human health are sold for use in meat and dairy production.
“Today’s announcement to no longer serve chicken raised with antibiotics by 2022 demonstrates our commitment to serve food that not only tastes great, but that customers can feel good about eating,” Pizza Hut Chief Brand Officer Marianne Radley said in a statement.
Tuesday’s announcement follows similar decisions by other Yum Brand chains and competitors, including KFC, McDonald’s Corp, and privately held Chick-fil-A.
Reporting by Alana Wise in New York; Additional reporting by Lisa; Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis