Jack in the Box, Qdoba limiting antibiotics in poultry

An updated animal welfare policy for Jack in the Box and Qdoba restaurants calls for an end to “routine uses” of antibiotics important to human health in the restaurants' poultry supplies.

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The Chick-N-Tater Melt, and other menu items containing chicken at Jack in the Box and Qdoba restaurants, will contain meat from chickens that were never treated with antibiotics also used in human medicine by 2020. | Jack in the Box
The Chick-N-Tater Melt, and other menu items containing chicken at Jack in the Box and Qdoba restaurants, will contain meat from chickens that were never treated with antibiotics also used in human medicine by 2020. | Jack in the Box

An updated animal welfare policy for Jack in the Box and Qdoba restaurants calls for an end to “routine uses” of antibiotics important to human health in the restaurants' poultry supplies.

In its policy, Jack in the Box Inc., parent company of both restaurant chains, stated that it presently does not purchase poultry from birds that have been administered antibiotics important to human health for growth promotion or feed efficiency purposes. But under the updated policy, the company will work with its suppliers to eliminate other routine uses of medically important antibiotics in poultry, including disease prevention. It hopes to phase out such antibiotic usage by 2020.

However, the company does not oppose treating poultry with antibiotics for veterinary purposes, if doing so is under the right circumstances.

“The use of medically important antibiotics to treat sick animals or where a heightened risk of disease mandates their prescription for the wellbeing of the flock is acceptable to us if carried out under veterinary supervision,” the company stated. “We encourage continued research into the development of safe and ethical alternatives for the treatment of sick and injured animals, and we look forward to a time when antibiotics important to human medicine can be phased out of the food-supply chain.”

Hen and sow housing

The company’s animal welfare policy also contained provisions about cages in egg production. In 2015, it announced that the majority eggs served at both restaurant chains would come from cage-free operations by 2020 and all eggs would be cage free by 2025. The company reiterated that commitment in the updated policy.

Concerning sow housing, Jack in the Box Inc., stated that it is progressing toward its goal of converting its pork supply to only farms that do not use gestation stalls by 2022.

“Several of our major suppliers are working to convert their company-owned farms to group housing by 2018, and they have committed to working with their supplier partners to meet our 2022 deadline. In 2014, we began requiring our pork suppliers to submit annual progress reports detailing their efforts to phase out gestation stalls,” the company stated.

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