In-N-Out Burger addresses antibiotics in beef issue

by Ryan McCarthy
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In-N-Out Burger has committed to sourcing beef from animals not raised on medically important antibiotics.

OAKLAND, Calif. — In an update from past policies, In-N-Out Burger stated last week that it is committed to serving “beef that is not raised with antibiotics important to human medicine.”

The fast food chain made the statement in response to a letter sent by more than 50 public interest groups pressing the company to stop serving beef raised with antibiotics.

Some of the groups leading the cause include CALPIRG Education Fund, Friends of the Earth, Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union, “Food Babe” Vani Hari, and the Antibiotics Resistance Action Center.

“We’re thrilled that In-N-Out is responding so quickly to consumer demand,” said Jason Pfeifle, public health advocate with CALPIRG Education Fund. “If In-N-Out follows through on these commitments, we are optimistic that other fast food restaurants will follow.”

Last week the coalition asked the company to clarify its antibiotics policy by publishing it on the In-N-Out website. Their demands included a transparent timeline with key benchmarks for progress. 

The groups also asked the company to adopt a third-party audit to independently confirm the company is making progress toward phasing out routine antibiotics from its meat.

“We are also urging the company to offer a sustainable, grass-fed beef option as the best way to quickly respond to customer demand for beef raised without routine antibiotics and other drugs,” Hari said.

The groups stated all their demands in this letter.

In response to other fast chain restaurants’ policies on antibiotics, livestock producers have said that they need antibiotics to treat sick animals.

“Our groups have emphasized to In-N-Out Burger that its policy should allow its producers to treat sick animals with antibiotics when diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian,” said Rebecca Spector, west coast director of Center for Food Safety.

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