VANCOUVER Wash. The Burgerville quick-service chain said it has now buying the eggs for its breakfast menu from a Washington State producer that does not keep its chickens in cages or use feed that contains animal matter.
The birds are also raised without growth hormones or the use of antiobiotics, according to The Holland Co., parent of the 39-unit Northwestern chain.
It did not divulge how the cost of the 600,000 eggs it buys annually may have changed as a result of the change in its purchasing policy.
Each egg is now certified as coming from a chicken designated as Humane Raised and Handled under criteria set by the Human Farm Animal Care Program, said Holland, which is based here. It asserted that Burgerville is the first restaurant chain to use the certified eggs.
Burgerville has been an early adapter of so-called green business practices, from exclusively using energy generated by solar power to recycling disposables.
Anumber of quick-service chains have been sharply criticized in recent years by animal-rights activists for buying chickens grown in cages small enough to prevent mobility.