If chicken is pretty much a staple in your meals, we have some good news — your chicken is about to get a whole lot healthier. On Tuesday, Tyson, one of the biggest chicken companies in the world, announced that it will stop using antibiotics in its chicken meat by June 2017.
According to WATTAgNet, the company announced at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference that it would eliminate antibiotics from the company's branded chicken.
“This means that Tyson will sell more, will feed more people with more no-antibiotics-ever chicken than any other company in the world,” Sally Grimes, Tyson Foods chief global growth officer, said at the conference, according to WATTAgNet.
For years, many companies have worked to reduce the amount of antibiotics used in their food, as health officials have warned that overuse of antibiotics can lead to development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could make people sick. Whenever antibiotics are used, some of the bacteria that has developed resistance to it can survive and multiply. As a result, there is a higher chance that untreatable infections can spread.
Noel White, chief operations officer for Tyson Foods, said during the conference that the company has been working for some time now to eliminate antibiotic usage.
"We declared a year ago that we would eliminate the use of human-use antibiotics by this fall, and we’re ahead of schedule in doing that," White said, according to WATTAgNet. "We will be completely free of antibiotics in the Tyson brand by then."
In recent years, consumer safety and health researchers have warned against the use of antibiotics, and the FDA has released guidelines pressuring meat companies to stop using antibiotics in livestock. Many fast food companies, including Burger King and McDonald's, have since made the pledge to go antibiotic-free.
Though experts have said that the best way to fight against antibiotic resistance is for doctors to reduce unnecessary prescriptions for their patients, getting those antibiotics out of the food we eat is also a good step.