(Reuters) - Papa John’s International Inc (PZZA.O) said on Monday it would commit to raising chicken supply standards and stop using high-volume sales contracts to switch to cheaper chicken, as it seeks to set higher standards with a new owner.
FILE PHOTO: A Papa John's pizza is seen on a pizza counter in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 8, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
The use of certain antibiotic-rinsed chicken and hormone-treated chicken is prompting significant concerns among healthcare professionals and public health officials, who have said the use of such meat sources could pave the way for the introduction of disease into U.S. livestock.
Earlier this month, private equity firm 3G Capital agreed to buy Papa John’s for $2.4 billion, in its largest deal ever, including debt. 3G has significantly reduced costs at other companies it has invested in by pushing for simplification and slashing spending on employee benefits.
The Louisville, Kentucky-based pizza delivery company is set to finish the use of antibiotic-rinsed chicken by the end of 2022, 2.5 years earlier than a commitment it had earlier made, the company said.
With the new stricter standards, the company will also have to move from selling antibiotic-rinsed chicken tenders to only selling boneless tenders by 2021.
The company said it has already stopped using three key types of antibiotics: monensin, sulfonamid and streptomycin, along with a few others in small volumes.
Papa John’s, which competes with the likes of Domino’s Pizza Inc (DPZ.N) and Yum Brands Inc’s (YUM.N) Pizza Hut, is also focused on better chicken quality and skin as it builds its company-owned restaurants in North America, Chief Executive Steve Ritchie said in a statement.