Oct 23, 2015

Wendy's Testing Antibiotic-Free Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Wendy's is testing chicken fillets from chickens raised without antibiotics in a few locations across the U.S.

The chicken is being tested in a new version of the Grilled Chicken Sandwich, which appears likely to replace the Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich if the test goes well.

The sandwich features a chicken breast fillet marinated in a blend of herbs and grilled, served with tangy herb sauce, fresh spring mix, and tomato on a toasted multigrain bun. The current Ultimate Grilled Chicken includes a seasoned grilled chicken fillet, honey mustard sauce, lettuce, and tomato on a plain toasted bun.

The new Grilled Chicken Sandwich is available at select locations in: Pittsburgh, PA; Las Vegas, NV; Jacksonville, FL; Orlando, FL; Gainesville, FL; Kansas City, MO; and Austin, TX. According to the Wall Street Journal, only four of those markets, Orlando, Gainesville, Kansas City, and Austin, are offering the antibiotic-free version of the chicken.

The test comes amid a growing demand for meat raised without the use (or routine use) of antibiotics. Rival McDonald's has committed to only serving chicken raised without antibiotics that are important to human medicine within the next two years, while Chick-fil-A plans to only serve antibiotic-free chicken by 2019.

According to the National Chicken Council, it should be noted that "all chicken is “antibiotic-free” in the sense that no antibiotic residues are present in the meat due to the withdrawal periods and other precautions required by the government and observed by the chicken companies." That doesn't mean that antibiotics weren't use while the chicken were raised, but that they can't be sold to consumers until any antibiotic residue is no longer present.

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