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Fast-food chain Chick-fil-A has sparked a social media backlash after announcing that it will soon allow certain antibiotics in the chickens it raises, citing supply issues.


Chick-fil-A restaurants in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico will transition “from chicken raised with No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) to chicken raised with No Antibiotics Important to Human Medicine (NAIHM), starting in the spring of 2024,” the company said in a statement posted on its website this week.

The statement said the antibiotics would only be administered “if the animal and those around it were to become sick.”

The move is intended “to maintain supply of the high-quality chicken you expect from us,” the company said. Chick-fil-A announced a commitment to serving chicken raised without antibiotics in 2014, fulfilling the promise in 2019.


A Chick-fil-A meal at a restaurant on June 1, 2023, in Novato, California. The company has sparked a social media backlash after announcing that it will soon allow its chickens to be raised with certain antibiotics, citing supply issues. IMAGE CREDIT: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


In a statement to Reuters, Chick-fil-A said the policy change was due to challenges it foresees finding chicken supplies that “meets our rigid standards.”

Many took to social media to blast Chick-fil-A for the change, including conservatives, with some calling for people to boycott the chain.

“Just wanted to let you know that Chick-fil-A just walked back their NO ANTIBIOTICS EVER rule for their chicken,” Alex Clark, a conservative podcast host, wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “You have got to stop eating there.”

Some indicated they would do exactly that.

“Chick-fil-A going back on their no antibiotics ever commitment was not on my bingo card. Its been a good run,” one person wrote on X, alongside a screenshot showing they were deleting the Chick-fil-A app on their phone.

Another wrote: “My family and I are huge @ChickfilA fans! We go all the time. But we won’t eat at Chick-fil-A if they serve food with Antibiotics in them. My kids’ health is too important to me.”

Another person wrote: “Chick-fil-A has always used peanut oil to cook with and now introduces No Antibiotics Important to Human Medicine chicken to its menu. It’s time for people to boycott Chick-fil-A and cause them to move out of the South and to places like California.”

However, some defended the move.

“This is good news. Healthier chickens, you’d want an antibiotic if you needed one, why deprive a chicken of an antibiotic?” one person wrote.

Chick-fil-A’s shift away from antibiotic-free chicken follows other similar moves by other companies.

Tyson Foods, a major supplier of chicken, announced last summer that it was reintroducing certain antibiotics to its chicken supply chain, after going antibiotic-free in 2017.

Panera Bread, another early adopter of antibiotic-free commitments, also recently changed its animal welfare policies to allow the use of antibiotics in pork and turkey products, Reuters reported.


WRITTEN BY: Khaleda Rahman; Khaleda is Newsweek’s Senior News Reporter based in London, UK. Her focus is reporting on abortion rights, race, education, sexual abuse and capital punishment. Khaleda joined Newsweek in 2019 and had previously worked at the MailOnline in London, New York and Sydney. She is a graduate of University College London. Languages: English.

You can get in touch with Khaleda by emailing



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