DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), the largest restaurant seller of responsibly raised meat, has not changed its standards for responsibly raised beef. Chipotle’s responsibly raised beef, chicken and pork continue to come from animals that are never given antibiotics or added hormones.
“We decided to start serving meat from animals that have never been given antibiotics or added hormones more than a decade ago,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO. “And we continue to be committed to the elimination of antibiotics that are used to promote growth in livestock being raised in confinement operations.”
While the company has considered new protocols, including one that would allow animals to be treated with antibiotics only when necessary for their continued health, that protocol has not been implemented.
At this time, Chipotle’s protocol allows the use of antibiotics to treat sick animals, but those animals must be removed from Chipotle’s supply. The company is currently evaluating if this strict “never-ever” antibiotic protocol is best for the animals, or whether animals can be treated when necessary and allowed to remain in the herd.
“We are always looking to improve our protocols in order to ensure that we are buying the very best sustainably raised ingredients,” said Ells. “Many experts, including some of our ranchers, believe that animals should be allowed to be treated if they are ill and remain in the herd. We are certainly willing to consider this change, but we are continuing to evaluate what’s best for our customers, our suppliers and the animals.”
Last year, Chipotle served more than 120 million pounds of responsibly raised beef, pork and chicken. The company does occasionally experience shortages of responsibly raised meats. These shortages can last a few weeks, and impact a small percentage of its restaurants at a given time. During these shortages, the company posts notices so customers are aware of the change.
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. A similarly focused people culture, with an emphasis on identifying and empowering top performing employees, enables us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,500 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.