Chick-Fil-A Gets A Health Makeover

An image of a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwichChick-fil-A has announced that it will be making some important nutritional changes to some of its most popular food items.

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The popular fast-food chicken chain says that it will be removing high-fructose corn syrup from its white buns and artificial dyes from its sauces and dressings as part of a push to improve its ingredients. The reformulated buns are being tested in about 200 Georgia locations, while the sauces and dressings will be tested starting early next year. It says it also removed a yellow dye from its chicken soup and that the new recipe should be in all restaurants by the end of this month.

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It’s also testing a new peanut oil, with hopes of a rollout early next year.

The changes come after blogger Vani Hari wrote a post in 2011 titled “Chick-fil-A or Chemical Fil-A?” on her site, FoodBabe.com. It noted that the chain’s sandwich had nearly 100 ingredients, including peanut oil with TBHQ, a chemical made from butane. Hari, based in Charlotte, N.C., continued writing about Chick-fil-A’s ingredients.

Ingredients in packaged and fast foods are coming under greater scrutiny as more people look to stick to diets they feel are natural. Other foods that have recently gotten a food makeover include Gatorade and Kraft Mac N’Cheese.

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Jodie Worrell, who works in Chick-fil-A product strategy and development, confirmed the changes in an interview and said the company has been working on improving the ingredients in its foods for several years, starting with the removal of trans fats. High-fructose corn syrup was also recently removed from other dressings.

“We’ve been systemically going through (the menu),” she said.

David Farmer, vice president of product strategy and development, noted that Chick-fil-A would likely keep making changes.

“More and more these days, we’ve become a kind of food culture. People seem to care a lot more about what’s in it, how it’s made and where did it come from,” he said.

Chick-fil-A, based in Atlanta, has more than 1,700 locations in 39 states and Washington, D.C.