A flurry of end-of-year activity has made December a notable month for corporate announcements regarding meat raised without antibiotics.   Check out the companies that made headlines this month:

  • Carl’s Jr. became the first major fast food chain to add an “All-Natural” burger to its menu, which is raised without antibiotics, hormones or steroids and is from free-range, grass-fed cattle.   The new burger is now offered at all 1,150 Carl’s Jr. restaurants, largely based on the West Coast.  (Sidenote: while we certainly applaud this development, we’re not fans of the widely-overused and meaningless ‘natural’ claim.)
  • Panera Bread, which was already serving chicken and turkey raised without antibiotics, said they’re now taking similar steps with their pork products.   Starting next month, the company says it will only source pork that was raised without antibiotics, fed a vegetarian diet and not confined in gestation crates.
  • Starbucks updated its animal welfare policy which includes “Supporting responsible use of antibiotics to support animal health.”  A vague statement, to be sure – but we’ll be looking more closely to see what this actually means for their meat sourcing.
  • Shake Shack, a beloved NYC-based burger joint, is going public.   The company sources only beef raised without antibiotics or hormones for its 63 restaurants currently in operation, and supposedly has a long-term plan of growing to 450 outlets.

Here’s to more good corporate movement on meat & antibiotics in 2015!