Toronto-based McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited has announced a new initiative to only source chicken raised without antibiotics that are important to human medicine by the end of 2018.
For several years, McDonald’s USA has been working closely with farmers to reduce the use of antibiotics in its poultry supply. According to a media release from McDonald’s, this new Canadian sourcing policy supports McDonald’s Global Vision for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Food Animals introduced in March this year, which includes supplier guidance on the thoughtful use of antibiotics in all food animals.
All of the chicken served at McDonald’s Canadian restaurants – including in its Chicken McNuggets – comes from Canadian chicken farmers. McDonald’s Canada says it will work closely with industry to implement the new antibiotics policy in its chicken supply chain within the next three years.
“McDonald’s believes antibiotics have important benefits, but that a few sensible changes to our policy can both maintain their most important benefits while helping to reduce their use overall,” said Rob Dick, Senior Director of McDonald’s Canada supply chain.
While McDonald’s Canada will only source chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine, the farmers who supply chicken for its menu may continue to responsibly use ionophores, a type of antibiotic not used for humans that helps keep chickens healthy.