Recently, a Chipotle spokesperson made serious waves in the world of conscientious restaurant consumers when he announced via email and through Bloomberg News that his company would no longer ban all meat treated with antibiotics. The story was a hot news item and took off like gangbusters. But the frenzy only lasted a short time, until the same spokesperson backtracked and admitted though the restaurant is considering a change, nothing has changed or been officially decided.
“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,” said the official statement.
Currently, the meat Chipotle usually serves has never been exposed to antibiotics. This means if an animal gets sick, he must be removed from the herd. He may be treated with antibiotics and sent to a conventional farm, but he will not go into your burrito at Chipotle. That is, unless Chipotle runs out of their antibiotic-fare.
Because completely antibiotic-free meat is both expensive and hard to come by, the restaurant sometimes runs out. And when they do, they use conventional meat. They don’t sneak it into their wraps and bowls, however. Instead, they post a sign to let all their customers know.
Chipotle spokesperson Christ Arnold says the company is evaluating whether or not they (and the animals) may benefit from allowing the sick to be treated with medications and still be served in their restaurant. By all accounts, however, they would still bar meat treated with preventative antibiotics.
Judging by Chipotle’s previous and current efforts to both serve healthful meals and keep customers informed of what they are being served, it seems the restaurant will be serving what the owner feels is in the best interest of consumers. After all, Chipotle recently became the first U.S. chain restaurant to label all GMOs sold through their locations on the menu.
Arnold, the one who initially leaked the story about Chipotle allowing some antibiotics admitted to giving Bloomberg the “wrong information” and said it was “tough to un-ring the bell,” after initially sounding the alarm.