May 1, 2017, Springdale, Ark. - 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 its 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.
Chickens are treated with antibiotics to keep them healthy as they grow. They live in relatively tight quarters, so a single sick bird can infect the flock.
When antibiotics are out of the mix, companies must look to other strategies to maintain chicken production -- and some are costly. Tyson, for example, says it has better ventilation to prevent illnesses and that its birds are fed a special probiotic diet. All major chicken growers say they are going to special lengths. READ MORE
Tyson Foods will eliminate antibiotics in chicken
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