DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has earned an “A” grade in the Chain Reaction III Report and Scorecard, a ranking of the country’s largest fast food and fast casual restaurant companies based on their policies for antibiotic use in farm animals. Chipotle has earned “A” grades in each of the three years the study has been conducted.
“We began serving meat from animals raised without antibiotics in 1999 and continue to be a leader in this area today,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO at Chipotle. “Doctors, public health officials and other experts agree that there is a growing risk of antibiotic-resistant infection, and the overuse of antibiotics in meat production is a significant part of that problem. Good animal husbandry reduces the need for antibiotics in livestock and promotes better animal welfare. We have simply chosen to serve meat raised in a way that emphasizes care over the use of chemicals.
“We made that decision simply because we thought it was the right thing to do – the right thing for farmers, for animal welfare, and for human health. While we are pleased to see other restaurant companies following our lead on this issue, this report shows there is still more work to be done across the industry, and we hope that others will make this a priority in the same way that Chipotle has.”
Of the 25 restaurant companies surveyed for the report, only two received “A” grades (including Chipotle), while 11 received “F’s.” Chipotle earned an “A” scoring 97% of the total points possible.
Chipotle began its journey to serve Responsibly Raised®-brand meat, from animals raised in more humane ways and without the use of antibiotics or added hormones, when it started serving pork from Niman Ranch in 1999. Today, all of the company’s meat comes from animals raised without the routine use of antibiotics.
Antibiotic resistant disease is becoming an increasingly big problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that at least 23,000 people die each year from antibiotic resistant infections. One cause of the mounting problem of antibiotic-resistant illness is the routine use of antibiotics in industrial animal agriculture. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, some 70% of all medically important antibiotics sold in the U.S. are intended for animal agriculture, not for the treatment of human illness.
Chain Reaction III was conducted by six of the leading public interest organizations working to curb the routine use of antibiotics in industrial animal agriculture, including the Consumers Union, National Resources Defense Council, Center for Food Safety, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Keep Antibiotics Working, and U.S. PIRG Education Fund.
Scoring criteria for Chain Reaction III evaluate restaurants offering chicken, beef, turkey and pork. The scorecard awards a total of 100 total points in three key areas: 1) policy regarding antibiotic use; 2) the implementation of antibiotic policies; and 3) transparency. If a company serves only three types of meat or poultry, the maximum possible score is 75 points; with two meats the maximum number of points available is 50 points. Chipotle, which does not serve turkey, earned 73 out of 75 points possible or 97% of the total points available for the company.
The complete Chain Reaction III Report and Scorecard is available here. Additional information about Chipotle’s ingredients, including meat from animals raised without antibiotics is available at Chipotle.com/food-with-integrity.
Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and 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, and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in an interactive style allowing people to get exactly what they want. Chipotle seeks out extraordinary ingredients that are not only fresh, but that are raised responsibly, with respect for the animals, land, and people who produce them. Chipotle prepares its food using only real, whole ingredients, and is the only national restaurant brand that uses absolutely no added colors, flavors or other industrial additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,300 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.