Pizza Hut is the latest chain to eliminate artificial preservatives and antibiotics from its menu — albeit, only in select ingredients. The pizza chain has committed to no longer using meats containing BHA/BHT (to take effect by the end of July 2016) or cheeses with artificial preservatives (by March 2017). Chicken containing "antibiotics important to human medicine" will no longer be used as of March 2017.
The pizza chain, which turns fifty-eight years old today, is one of a growing number of restaurants to eliminate antibiotics from poultry, though the company hasn't announced whether it will eventually extend that ban to other types of meat.
Last year, McDonald's announced that it would stop using milk and chicken from animals treated with antibiotics that are "important to human medicine." The move was a tipping point for the industry at large, as the fast-food giant was one of the earliest adopters of antibiotic use. Subway followed suit soon after, announcing that it would begin using rotisserie-style, antibiotic-free chicken in its sandwiches. Taco Bell also recently made the move to antibiotic-free chicken at its U.S. restaurants, to take effect in 2017.
The removal of BHA and BHT from Pizza Hut's meat — both widely used throughout the food industry as preservatives — mirrors another recent announcement from McDonald's: that the company was testing preservative-free chicken nuggets in some stores. Pizza Hut's cubed chicken topping currently contains some 15 ingredients (like corn syrup solids and sodium phosphate). It's unclear how many will be included in the revamped chicken.