By Betty Yu

NOVATO (KPIX 5) – In-N-Out Burger is giving its loyal fans one more reason to indulge, saying that it plans to switch to beef from cows that are not treated with antibiotics.

The company has asked their suppliers to speed up their progress toward offering antibiotic alternatives.

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“I was so happy to hear that one of the major food chains is making this effort to improve the safety and quality of the foods that we eat,” dietician and nutritionist Sonya Angelone told KPIX 5.

Angelone said the routine use of antibiotics in the industry is a growing concern.

“A lot of the farming practices use antibiotics not just to treat sick animals, but they actually indiscriminately use antibiotics to treat healthy animals,” Angelone explained. “To either prevent them from getting sick, or actually get them grow faster, while feeding them less food.”

The nutritionist said the problem is that the same antibiotics are also used in humans. Overusing antibiotics in animals can lead to more human infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria, or superbugs.

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Diners at the In-N-Out in Novato Tuesday night told KPIX 5 that they support the change.

“I think that’s fantastic and I think it’s really important to eat quality food and things that are grown sustainably and humanely,” said Danielle Dabbah of San Rafael.

“Now that it’s more healthier for the kids and for us, I think that’s great,” said Julia Cordova of Novato.

The change to ditch antibiotic-treated beef by In-N-Out follows similar decisions by Panera, Chipotle and Shake Shack. McDonald’s has announced it would offer antibiotic-free chicken by 2018.

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In-N-Out has not announced a timeline on when antibiotic-free beef would be offered at their locations.