Subway roast beef sandwhich
Subway will transition to proteins sourced from animals that have never been given antibiotics starting in 2016.

MILFORD, Conn. – Subway Restaurants announced plans to phase in meat and poultry proteins sourced from animals that have never been treated with antibiotics. The company announced the transition is beginning across all of its 27,000-plus restaurants in the United States in early 2016.

Beginning in March, the company’s restaurants will begin serving chicken raised without antibiotics, followed by turkey raised without antibiotics. The company expects to complete the transition to poultry raised without antibiotics within two to three years. Pork and beef raised without antibiotics will follow within six years after the poultry transition.

Dennis Clabby, executive vice president of Subway’s Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC), said the transition will take some time. He said the beef in particular would take time because the supply of beef raised without antibiotics is “extremely limited and cattle take significantly longer to raise.” But Subway remains committed to adopting the changes despite the challenges.

“Given the size and scope of the Subway brand, this commitment is the largest of its kind in the restaurant industry,” Clabby said. “We hope that this commitment will encourage other companies in our industry to follow our lead, and that, together, this will drive suppliers to move faster to make these important changes for consumers.”