Going where some rivals and fast-food chains have already gone, one of the nation’s largest poultry producers, Tyson Foods, announced Monday that it will go antibiotic free by the end of the year.
In making its move, Tyson Foods joins competitors like Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride. Also, it mirrors some major fast food and quick service restaurant chains. KFC announced last month it will rid of its chicken of antibiotics by the end of 2018. Also going without antibiotics are McDonald’s, Burger King, Panera, Chipotle, Taco Bell and Wendy’s.
Tyson said its antibiotic-free pledge will apply to poultry it sells in supermarkets under it own Tyson label. For Tyson and the others, the move is being driven by consumer demand for food free of anything deemed unnatural, whether it’s antibiotics, preservatives or something else. Consumer Reports magazine found in a 2015 survey that one of four shoppers were buying meat and poultry without antibiotics more often than they had in the prior year.