Taco Bell has announced a new policy around its dominant menu protein: beef. As of this week, Taco Bell is committing to reduce antibiotics important to human health in its beef supply chain 25% by 2025. Effective across the U.S. and Canada, the change covers 98% of the company’s global beef supply, it said.
Taco Bell said it worked with long-term supplier partners for more than a year-and-a-half to ensure that the new policy benefitted all parties involved.
“The company will continue to work towards identifying effective approaches to limiting antibiotic use, based on scientific evidence and in accordance with proper animal welfare practices,” it said.
Collaboration with key industry experts was also crucial through the process, Taco Bell noted.
“By committing to a concrete timeline for reducing antibiotic use in its beef supply chain, Taco Bell is taking an important step to help preserve these life-saving medicines,” said Matt Wellington, antibiotics campaign director with U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). “Antibiotics are critical to our health, and overusing them to produce meat can make them less effective for treating human illness.”
Taco Bell plans to share progress against this goal in 2022 while continuing to prioritize involvement in collaborative industry efforts along the way, including participation in the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge.
Since 2014, Taco Bell has been spearheading industry efforts regarding consumers’ food supply concerns, including animal welfare and antibiotic resistance. In early 2017, the brand eliminated antibiotics important to human health in its U.S. chicken supply.
Taco Bell’s beef supply already includes premium beef, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture Prime, Choice and Select grade beef, but the company said the latest policy is just one more way it is making food with simpler, higher-quality ingredients served with full transparency.