Chick-fil-A Makes Major Change to Their Chicken

Chick-fil-A, the well-known fast food chain, has announced a change in its antibiotic policy for sourcing chicken. Starting in spring 2024, the company will transition from its “No Antibiotics Ever” (NAE) policy to a “No Antibiotics Important To Human Medicine” (NAIHM) approach. The NAE policy ensured that no antibiotics were used at any stage of the chicken’s life, while the NAIHM policy will allow the use of antibiotics not critical to human medicine, but only if the chicken or its surrounding flock falls ill.

The company clarified the change in a statement, explaining that the new policy is a response to concerns about the future availability of high-quality chicken that meets their stringent standards. The shift to NAIHM will allow Chick-fil-A to continue serving high-quality chicken that aligns with customer expectations.

Chick-fil-A had previously committed to serving only chicken raised without antibiotics in 2014, a goal they claim to have achieved by 2019. The company’s “Animal Wellbeing Standards” mandate that chickens be hatched, raised, and harvested domestically in the U.S., with proper nutrition. The standards also require that chickens be housed in climate-controlled, cage-free barns where they are free to roam.

The new policy will apply to Chick-fil-A restaurants in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Under the NAIHM policy, if a chicken becomes sick, it will be treated with antibiotics not used in human medicine. In line with FDA requirements, all antibiotics must be cleared from the chicken’s system before it is deemed suitable for the chicken supply.

This change reflects Chick-fil-A’s commitment to maintaining the quality of its chicken while addressing potential supply chain issues. It also underscores the company’s dedication to animal welfare, as the new policy allows for the treatment of sick animals, albeit with antibiotics not intended for human use.