Fast-food chain KFC has revealed that by the end of next year, all the chicken purchased by the KFC US, will be raised without antibiotics.

The new initiative would be the first of its kind taken by a major, national quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain in the US to extend an antibiotics commitment beyond boneless chicken to its chicken-on-the-bone menu items.

KFC US president and chief concept officer Kevin Hochman said: "We're constantly working to meet the changing preferences of our customers, while ensuring we deliver on the value they expect from KFC. Offering chicken raised without medically important antibiotics is the next step in that journey.

"Making this change was complex and took a lot of planning. It required close collaboration with more than 2,000 farms, most of them family-owned and managed, in more than a dozen US states where they raise our chickens."

"Offering chicken raised without medically important antibiotics is the next step in that journey."

In addition to its antibiotics pledge, KFC has also added that all its products will be free from artificial colours and flavours by next year.

KFC US chief food innovation officer Vijay Sukumar said: "Eliminating medically important antibiotics from the chicken we serve in our US restaurants, while keeping the health and well-being of the flocks in mind, was important in our decision to make this commitment.

"To extend our commitment beyond our boneless menu items to all of our chicken required detailed and thoughtful planning over the past year, including utilising the USDA's Process Verified programme to ensure our suppliers can meet our requirements."

KFC added by the end of this year, all menu items will be free of food dyes, excluding beverages and third-party products.

Image: KFC US to purchase chicken that is raised without antibiotics important to human medicine. Photo: courtesy of KFC.