BUSINESS

McDonald's Canada Vows To Eliminate Human Antibiotics From Its Chicken

10/26/2015 11:16 EDT

McDonald’s in Canada will only buy chicken from sources that are free of human antibiotics, the company announced Monday.

"Our guests want food that they feel great about eating – all the way from the farm to the restaurant – and this move takes another step toward better delivering on those expectations," McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada CEO John Betts said in a statement.

The Canadian announcement follows a similar move in the U.S. earlier this year, and is part of an effort by McDonald's to improve its image amid declining same-store sales.

To that end, the company has announced it will buy cage-free eggs and eliminate deforestation from its supply chain, among other things.

The company has also been rolling out an all-day breakfast menu in the U.S., is testing an organic hamburger, and is bringing self-serve kiosks to restaurants in a number of countries around the world, including Canada — a move the company says will not reduce hiring.

The new strategy may be paying off already. The company reported its first growth in sales since 2013 in the third quarter of this year.

McDonald's says it buys all the chicken for its Canadian restaurants from within Canada, and it says it will work with the industry to implement the new policy. It notes that its chicken will still contain ionophores, "a type of antibiotic not used for humans that helps keep chickens healthy."

"McDonald's believes antibiotics have important benefits, but that a few sensible changes to our policy can both maintain their most important benefits while helping to reduce their use overall," Rob Dick, Senior Director of McDonald's Canada supply chain, said in a statement.