As more and more restaurants and consumers demand antibiotic-free chicken, one of the country’s biggest chicken purveyors can say that more than half of their chicken has “no antibiotics ever.”
The New York Times reports Perdue has perfected the process of raising chickens without any antibiotics, and now many of their products will be labeled as such.
Perdue’s Harvestland, Simply Smart and Perdue Perfect Portions brands will get the “no antibiotics ever” label, the paper reports.
All meat labeled “antibiotic free” has to be free of both human and animal antibiotics, according to the article, and many chicken producers do sell products that get that label. Perdue is the first to do it on such a large scale.
What’s the big deal about antibiotics in livestock?
“Antibiotics must be used judiciously in humans and animals because both uses contribute to the emergence, persistence, and spread of resistant bacteria,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Resistant bacteria may be transmitted to humans through the foods we eat.”
Perdue still faces criticism for the way the company treats its chickens, the paper writes. Company chief Jim Perdue told the New York Timesthe company is looking at ways to improve living conditions for the birds, though he wouldn’t specify how.