Monday, October 26, 2015

McChicken Canada goes antibiotic-free

McChicken sandwiches will be cut from chickens that have been raised without antibiotics, McDonald’s Canada announced Monday.

The parent company made the same commitment in March.

The deadline is the end of 2018, but is not a complete ban on antibiotics – only those used in human medicine.

That means ionophores can still be used.

There has been an increasing volume of antibiotic-free chicken being produced in Ontario, mainly clients of Fischer Feed Mills in Listowel. Its clients supply the Loblaws supermarket chain.

The Toronto-based company noted that all of the chicken served at its 1,400 restaurants comes from Canadian chicken farmers and it plans to work with those suppliers to implement new antibiotics policy.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. plans to eliminate all antibiotics from one-quarter of its total chicken production by 2019, up from about five percent now and Perdue Farms and Tyson Foods have made similar announcements this year.

Chick-fil-A Inc. has a five-year plan for phasing out chicken treated with antibiotics from its supply chain; Pilgrim’s Pride is one of its supplier.