Papa John's announced its grilled chicken pizza toppings and chicken poppers will come from birds raised without human or animal antibiotics, as well as fed a 100-percent vegetarian diet, by the summer of 2016.  

The company has already made concrete strides toward this commitment by securing contracts with its suppliers, ensuring that they are on track to complete the process on schedule.

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"This antibiotics initiative embodies everything our brand stands for," said John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John's. "I started this company over 31 years ago on a foundation of quality and a commitment to my customers to deliver on a promise of ‘Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.' By serving high-quality chicken products without added human or animal antibiotics, we're just taking the next step on our journey to always get ‘better.'"

With the announcement made on December 16, Papa John’s becomes the first national pizza chain to pledge removal of antibiotics from its chicken supply. It also joins a list of restaurant chains to eliminate or reduce use of meat and poultry from animals treated with antibiotics. Others to announce either a move away from all antibiotics or antibiotics used in human medicine include Chipotle, Panera Bread, Subway, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Wendy’s.