IRVINE, Calif. – Taco Bell, a subsidiary of Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum! Brands, is announcing a new policy around the primary protein on its menu – beef. The chain has committed to reduce antibiotics important to human health in its beef supply chain in the US and Canada by 25 percent by 2025.
Taco Bell worked with long-term supplier partners for over a year and a half before committing to the new policy.
“By committing to a concrete timeline for reducing antibiotic use in its beef supply chain, Taco Bell is taking an important step to help preserve these life-saving medicines. Antibiotics are critical to our health, and overusing them to produce meat can make them less effective for treating human illness,” said Matt Wellington, the Antibiotics Campaign Director with US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).
Taco Bell plans to share progress as it works toward the goal in 2022. The company also plans to continue its involvement in the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and the Center for Disease Control’s Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge (a year-long effort to accelerate the fight against antimicrobial resistance around the world.
Since 2014, Taco Bell has been looking into consumers’ food supply concerns, including animal welfare and antibiotic resistance issues. In early 2017, the brand eliminated antibiotics important to human health in its US chicken supply.
As part of the company’s new policy, Taco Bell will give preference to suppliers that:
- make measured reductions in their use of antibiotics important to human health, as defined by the World Health Organization;
- increase veterinary oversight when required to medically treat sick animals, from diagnosis to treatment to compliance. This will occur through Veterinary Client Patient Relationships (VCPR); and
- participate in animal husbandry practices that promote antibiotic stewardship.
According to the company, Taco Bell’s antimicrobial policy seeks to reinforce and build upon Yum! Brand’s Good Antimicrobial Stewardship policy, which focuses on responsible, judicious use of antimicrobials to benefit human, animal and environmental health.