Bon Appetit Management Company Stays Ahead of the Curve, Naturally

Proactive food service company institutes all-natural beef burger initiative

Palo Alto, Calif. (March 20, 2007) -Moving to expand its far-reaching antibiotic reduction policy from poultry to beef, Bon Appétit Management Company announces the exclusive use of all-natural hamburger beef in all 400 of its restaurants and cafés in 28 states. By some estimates, the majority of antibiotics used in the United States are fed on a routine basis to farm animals that are not sick. The heavy use of such medicines in agriculture has resulted in the declining effectiveness of antibiotics against common bacterial infections in humans. As a culinary company concerned about health and sustainability, Bon Appétit is committed to addressing the public health threat from antibiotic resistance.

Beginning March 20, 2007, all Bon Appétit hamburgers will be made from natural ground chuck sourced from suppliers that can claim to use:

  • No antibiotics (ever)
  • No added growth hormones (ever)
  • No animal byproducts in feed (ever)
  • Humane treatment

The hamburger initiative is a ‘natural’ step for Bon Appétit, whose socially responsible programs have made it a model for sustainable food service. Since 2003, Bon Appétit has only bought chicken raised without the non-therapeutic use of human antibiotics. In 2005, the company extended the policy to turkey breast, making it the first restaurant company to take a stand against antibiotic use in turkey production.

Once again, Bon Appétit is first out of the gate, and in addition to the ethical and health advantages of hormone- and antibiotic-free beef, Bon Appétit chefs and diners are noticing that their natural chuck burgers are incredibly flavorful.

“Many of our students are very aware of what they’re eating,” said Michael Delcambre, executive chef for Bon Appétit at Macalester College. “When we switched over to the hormone free beef, students were saying, ‘You can taste the flavor! This tastes like a beef burger!'”

The company now also joins the American Medical Association and other health organizations in opposing the Food and Drug Administration’s pending approval of cefquinome, an antibiotic proposed for use in beef cattle. Widespread use of this antibiotic in cows would likely lead to disease-causing bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics critical to human medicine.

“Bon Appétit serves up the perfect example of how a food service company can cater to the tastes of its patrons while pushing the industry towards much needed reform,” said Rebecca Goldburg, PhD, senior scientist at Environmental Defense and executive committee member of the Keep Antibiotics Working Coalition. “As health advocates work to phase out the routine use of human antibiotics in animal agriculture, it’s great to see Bon Appétit welcome these medically needed reforms with an open kitchen.”

Bon Appétit Management Company also strives to serve grass-fed beef whenever possible, featuring it at a number of cafés, including Acme Chophouse and the De Young Museum Café in San Francisco, St. Olaf College in Minnesota, and Cisco Systems in North Carolina.

About Bon Appétit Management Company
Bon Appétit Management Co. is an onsite restaurant company offering full food service management to corporations, universities and specialty venues. Bon Appétit is committed to sourcing sustainable, local foods for all cafés throughout the country. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs with Environmental Defense, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, the Humane Society of the United States, and other leading conservation organizations. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 400 cafés in 28 states, including Oracle Corporation, American University and the Getty Center.