Papa John's chicken pizza
Only antibiotic-free chicken will eventually top Papa John’s Buffalo Chicken pizza.

LOUISVILLE, KY. — Papa John’s has become the latest food service operator to announce a shift away from poultry raised using antibiotics.

By summer 2016, the national pizza chain said its pizza toppings and chicken poppers will be sourced from chickens raised without human and animal antibiotics and fed a 100% vegetarian diet. Papa John’s said it will be the first national pizza chain to make the antibiotic-free chicken pledge.

“This antibiotics initiative embodies everything our brand stands for,” said John Schnatter, founder and chief executive officer of Papa John’s. “I started this company over 31 years ago on a foundation of quality and a commitment to my customers to deliver on a promise of ‘Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.’ By serving high-quality chicken products without added human or animal antibiotics, we’re just taking the next step on our journey to always get ‘Better.’”

In June, the company pledged to clean up its ingredient list by removing 14 ingredients, including artificial flavors and colors, from its offerings by the end of 2016. Many of the ingredients Papa John’s plans to remove are in its dipping sauces.