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Breaking News: Chick-fil-A Removing Dyes, Corn Syrup and TBHQ in 2014

It all started with you. GO #FoodBabeArmy GO! You cannot be stopped. I love you!

Breaking News: Chick-fil-A Removing Dyes, Corn Syrup and TBHQ in 2014: Read and share this breaking news here – ABC NEWS

“The changes come after blogger Vani Hari wrote a post in 2011 titled “Chick-fil-A or Chemical Fil-A?” on her site, 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.Then last year, the company invited her to its headquarters to spend the day talking with executives.”They took my concerns and started developing a road map of how to address them,” Hari said. On Wednesday, she said she was notified about the changes in an email from the company.”



After writing several blog posts about how many controversial ingredients are used at Chick-fil-A (TBHQ – an ingredient derived from butane, artificial food dyes, MSG, living conditions of their chickens, etc), the fast-food giant reached out to me. 

Chick-fil-A invited me to their headquarters to consult with them on how they could change their ingredients. I was reluctant at first, because not only did I disagree with their food preparation, I also disagreed with many of their other policies.

The desire for the greater consumer good prevailed in my heart. I knew that I, just an everyday girl writing a blog, had a shot at changing the food policies of a major corporation with my corporate consulting experience (along with the help of many more voices supporting me – the Food Babe Army). Change has to start somewhere.
Off I went to the meeting. It was productive and positive, and after a year of follow up meetings directly with Chick-fil-A executives, Chick-fil-a has finally indicated to me that they are making several major changes I suggested.
This morning, I received an email from Chick-fil-A executives confirming these changes: 
  • Successfully removed Yellow #5 and reduced sodium in our chicken soup recipe. Our new soup recipe is rolling out chain-wide now, and will be complete by the end of December. 
  • We have successfully removed HFCS and artificial colors from several of our sauces and dressings. We will move into a testing and rollout phase with these new condiments in early 2014. 
  • Testing peanut oil without TBHQ in multiple markets now with the hopes to rollout chain-wide in early 2014
  • We are still in test with the cleaner label white bun. The test is being expanded to other markets outside of Georgia for possible chain-wide rollout by end of 2014.

Still yet to come?

Chick-fil-A executives have indicated to me they are working with the supplier to remove artificial food dyes from their “Ice dream” product (the one they offer in kids meals instead of a toy) at a later date yet not determined and working on further nutritional improvements and innovations. 

During my meeting with them, we prioritized my requests and my #1 request has still not been addressed, which is to provide safer and more sustainable chicken that is raised without anti-biotics and GMO feed and that is not grown in terrible living conditions.

Also, yet to be addressed is the use of MSG or Monosodium Glutamate in their sandwiches that makes their food unnecessarily addictive.

Links to the stories that made this possible:

Chick-fil-A or Chemical-fil-A

Why Do Parents Take Their Kids To Chick-fil-A

Home-made Chick-fil-A sandwich

There’s proof processed foods are harder to digest

Chick-fil-A Headquarters Update

Thank you for your work, it took every single one of you to make this happen.

The food industry is not going to change over night, but we are making some major headway.

We are changing the world together #FoodBabeArmy!





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346 responses to “Breaking News: Chick-fil-A Removing Dyes, Corn Syrup and TBHQ in 2014

  1. Thank you for all you are doing to educate people about what we are putting in our loved ones mouths. My husband grew up in Georgia and loves Chick-fil-a. We would travel to the next state to get their food. We loved their company, but they are a corporation and want to make money. I am so grateful to you for bringing light to a dark place. Keep your spirit shining bright for all to see. You have made a great difference in our world.

  2. I am assuming from this that the balance of fast food places are perfect in regards to their customers purchases.

  3. I hope they stop giving money to non-Christian groups as well. My Jesus says love thy neighbor. No stipulations.

    1. It’s about healthy food, not religion…jeepers creepers. Anyway, keep up the great steps forward, it’s about time corporations started realizing that they are poisoning their unaware costumers but their/our knowledge is growing.

  4. Now if more places were more concerned with food allergy safety we would be all set. Chic fil a says that kids with peanut allergies can eat thier products because the peanut oil is purified but that doesn’t make me feel ok to let my child eat there. Baby steps! Keep up the great work.

    1. I’m so sick of parents trying to ban anything to do with peanut oil. Guess what? You or your special child don’t have to eat there.

      1. That comment was cruel.

        It’s not like people with allergies did anything to deserve contracting a deadly disorder. They are not being persnickety when they ask if a substitution can be made for products containing peanut proteins.This is a serious threat to their life. Peanut protein allergies are NEVER out grown. People with this type of allergy have to maneuver around a deadly “obstacle” every day, for their entire lives. How would YOU act if YOU were DEATHLY allergic to something so common?

        My nephew is allergic to peanuts. His parents are EXTREMELY careful about avoiding peanut protein exposure, but it still happens by accident from time to time, so they keep antihistamines and an Epi-pen close at hand. Still, it takes a few moments to get the medicine in him and for it to start to work in reversing the anaphylactic reaction. I have seen him struggling to breath as his throat closes. The panic on his sweet little face is something I will never get over. It’s like watching a person drown right in front of you, but there’s nothing you can do. I’ve seen him go limp. I know every day that we could lose him very easily if a simple mistake is made, or there’s a brief lapse in his parent’s vigilance. I don’t think it’s too much to ask if a peanut protein containing product can be replaced with a suitable substitute, especially of the final product is undistinguishable from the original.

        This ENTIRE blog about Chic-fil-a is about them CHANGING their product to a healthier version in the interest of ultimately saving lives, so how do you figure that’s any different than asking them if they can go one little step further and possibly get rid of the most common DEADLY allergen -PEANUT protein contaminants.

        To be fair, most high quality manufacturers of peanut oil can get rid of peanut proteins during the normal processing act, so it is possible that a “fix” to prevent allergic reactions may be just as simple as Chick-fil-a making a request to their peanut oil supplier to do certified batch testing. Chic-fil-a buys a lot of peanut oil, so I would assume it would benefit any oil manufacturing company to heed that request, especially if such a big buyer of peanut oil requests that it be done before they will purchase it.

        Again, do you not realize that peanut protein allergies are a type of can KILL? If not, I can see how it would be easy to unknowingly make such a cruel statement. If you did know, please consider that the occurrence of peanut allergies is increasing, so Karma may get you in the end if someone you know and love ends up with a peanut allergy.

      2. I’m so sick of people not caring enough for the health of those who either can not or do not know. Especially children.

      3. With regard to peanut allergies. (responding to Becky)
        I have a special needs child who, for 5 days a week, through 7 school years, ate NOTHING for lunch other than Peanut butter sandwiches.
        His school then instituted a peanut-free school out of concern for the peanut-allergic kids. Parents went ballistic because they had to find other (more time consuming) alternatives.
        I spoke out in favor of it. Why ?
        Because NONE of the concerns amounts to a hill of beans when it comes to the life threat to those peanut allergic kids. My son didnt eat Peanut butter for breakfast or dinner – so, hard as it was – we just found alternative – and, YES many was the time that his alternative lunch came back home uneaten. He came home hungry more than once. But no child died or went into annaphalectic (sic ?) shock.
        So, Becky – you get the “Let them eat cake” award for your “tolerance”. Enjoy it.

  5. Vani,

    Bravo for your efforts and I am glad to see that there is some movement on CF!!
    I am thrilled that you are talking with them about the deplorable living conditions of their poor chickens and the GMO, feed, antibiotics that they use, ,despite warnings on the FDA website on some of their ingredients including acrylmides (sp?) which are highly toxic.

    I have eaten in CF only once in Charlotte and it was at the urging of my friends while we were shopping. It was awful. I can count on one hand the number of times I have eaten fast food in my life.. My friends who were with me love the chicken, and could care less about how terrible the conditions are for the chickens, along with the absolutely toxic food that they serve—-unbelievable!!

    It is advocates like yourself that will be the only way to change these huge mega companies. The only thing that affects them is $$$$signs and the loss of market share if enough consumers turn away Fromm their product. I was stunned that in Ca and Washinton state that GMO labeling did not pass, so the only way that consumers will get the message is from people like yourself.


  6. I would encourage everyone to go to their website and leave them a thank you with a note of encouragement to keep up the good work and loose the GMO’s.

    1. Great Idea! Think I will do that now!! Maybe if they see ppl are pleased with changes they will want to continue. Although i don’t see them getting rid of the one thing that MAKES ppl come back for more. 🙁

  7. I read about this in the Atlanta Journal Constitution yesterday.What great news to start my day! Thank you,Vani for all you do and have done for all of us!
    Good idea,Mike.

  8. Way to go Chickfila!! They may still have a ways to go but how many other large companies are willing to sit down and talk about this kind of stuff?? Kraft certainly wasnt! Thanks for the positive change.

  9. I am so happy! Chick-Fil-A is (I think) a great company in many respects (not all) and I respect their founder immensely. It goes to show too- no other fast food chain has done this yet! We must give proper kudos to them too, for sitting down and making changes. Awesome news! My respect for them just got bumped even higher. Haha, I dont eat fast food at all, but I liked the idea of the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day that they held earlier…maybe we should do that again? 🙂

  10. I’m just curious why you were “reluctant” in the beginning when they were reaching out to you. Are they not making an attempt to improve their ingredients by doing so?

  11. Please ask Chick Filet to not use MSG in their food. I love their food but I get a massive MSG headache from it, so I never buy it. Lots of people are allergic to MSG.

  12. I admire your diligence & thank you for all the great info you put out into the world. I am so glad I found you. I always enjoy your blogs & learn so much from them.

    I am eternally grateful for all the knowledge I gain as a result of your research & persistence. Thanks for educating us.

    1. Now that is a great comment…I completely agree!! I love learning about ways to keep my loved ones the healthiest I can. My 12,9 and 5 year olds happily drink kale shakes for an after school snack now, you be surprised what else I can hid in berries, bananas, yogurt and honey. Thanks a million!!!

  13. It goes to show how much difference one person can make in the world! One step closer, nice work Vani!

  14. I hope they continue to remove HFCS from all of their foods. I have fructose malabsorption and it hits me hard to have this man made frankenfood snuck in to my food. Also, peanut oil is way to high in polyunsaturated fats, and too many people are allergic to it. They should switch to coconut oil, hardly anyone is allergic to that, and it has the same fat profile as mother’s milk, very healthy for us.

  15. To clarify, Chickfila offers a book as the toy in the kids’ meals. The book may be turned in for ice dream. Your wording makes it seem as though they are pushing ice dream on children instead. It remains the parent’s choice. At least that is how it works at our local store.

    At any rate, Chickfila is a better option than many other fast service restaurants. I’m glad that they continue to improve their products. I think they should be commended for taking criticism and making something constructive out of it. Say what you want folks, but they do care about customer retention and meeting customer needs. My husband worked for them for 3 years. It is a good company.

  16. Vani, I would love to see the push to have Chick-Fil-A remove MSG. I am so thankful for the work you do but I was reading, reading, reading…waiting to see that MSG was also being removed and then I seen that it hadn’t been addressed yet. 🙁 I wonder if addressing this now with them would be better while they are already making the adjustments to the other items so it can all be rolled out together? My daughter and I both can not have MSG because it causes a severe headache. We don’t eat out a lot but when we do, I would love for Chick-Fil-A to be an option. Thanks again for all your efforts!

  17. i`m getting the strangest feeling chick-fil-a is using the food babe. after their food is healthy their prices are gonna jump. anything that`s good for us is always 3 times as costly.

  18. MSG is nasty stuff. It did grave damage to my adrenal glands. Most people aren’t aware of this possible consequence. The result was that my adrenal glands were not making enough gamma linolenic acid. I started experiencing panic attacks. Taking a pearl of evening primrose oil would stop them within 10 minutes. Evening primrose oil is full of gamma linolenic acid. So is borage oil. I also get horrible diarrhea from eating one bite of food with a customary amount of MSG. I learned that Detox by Solaray will neutralize these consequences of MSG. Dr. Russell Blaylock said MSG is an excitotoxin. It destroys brain cells. Just think of all the pharmaceutical drugs people take to counteract these consequences of MSG. That only compounds the problem for their health. People in Asia who get MSG usually get it in natural forms that occur in the plants they eat. Adding MSG is brought to us by a company in Japan that manufactures it and sells it to the United States. It should be banned.

  19. I’m happy chick-fil-a is changing what goes into their food. Hopefully more restaurants will follow suit. I still will not eat at Chick-fil-a though. They may have changed their food but their anti lgbt stance is still hurtful so they will not get any of my money. Thank you food babe for all your hard work♡

  20. And not addressed is using wheat in everything. Food Babe is a failure as long as she keeps promoting eating wheat. it’s as toxic as sugar.

  21. You want healthy ingredients? eat at home!!!! ALL fast food is bad! Avoid it and you will feel better. Go organic!

  22. Thanks for your work on this vani ! Youre amazing. Its fantastic that chick fil a os making great strides towards a healthier product. I stopped going there for the nost part and now in the future if on the road, i will feel slightly better about feeding their food to my kids!

  23. Congratulations Vani! This is a real victory. Sure, it’s not organic or as clean as you would like, but change is slow. You got a giant corporation to make changes for the better and that is incredible. People will benefit from these changes. Little changes can have a big impact on health.

  24. Just curious if other restaurant chains and supermarkets have been studied, and scrutinized for their food products? I’m sure if you approach McDonald’s, they would be more than generous in letting you help them fix their problem…….. Maybe not, but worth a shot.

    Also, has Tyson been scrutinized because of the way the raise their chickens? These are bought and sold daily.

    This post does nothing but anger me due to the fact that this is not the only chain making horrible decisions in their food prep. However I am very grateful to know that this company is willing to make changes proposed by someone who is well…… Just an average someone like myself. Go chick-fil-a.

  25. We don’t eat at Chick-fil-a much at all (like maybe once a year!) because of the MSG in their products….I’d like to see them address THAT one!

    Amazing that they asked for your input! That was exciting to see!

  26. Wooo hoo!! Congrats to Food Babe and Food Babe Team!!! This is wonderful!! Chick-Fil-A is almost just about the only fast food place we frequent and these changes are small but significant. Kudos!!!

  27. I had an allergic reaction there to the MSG I emailed the company and was told the only things that did not have msg ere the milkshakes the sodas the fries and the grilled chicken

  28. You can make the best food in the world but it will still be inedible if it is seasoned with hate. Thank you for doing this, but your efforts are wasted on a company that lacks ethics.

  29. Clearly you are good at reading labels and research… but just as evident by your “#1 request”- you are rather naive as to what it takes to get chicken to your plate… and at that price.

    If you want an eye opener- research broilers (Cornish crosses) and actually learn about what you are really eating.. Raise your own if you think you can really stomach the truth.

    Meanwhile you’ve just handed them sales tactics akin to the meaningless “all natural” label… and more press where they now seem to be a healthier option.

  30. Thanks for your work with Chick Fil-A. As a southern girl, it is one of my guilty pleasures. But, I learned from my reactions after eating there, that the food is filled with hidden nasties that I shouldn’t eat. With them cleaning up the food, it’s more likely that I will be able to indulge once in a while.

  31. I know you’ve already heard this one but it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease so I’ll chime in here. Please get after them about that MSG.

  32. GMO has been shown not to harm anyone. So why the big stink?? Maybe it’s because the foodie nut need something to complain about with out a shred of evidence. And MSG is a great taste enhancer. And totally not harmful in any way. It makes the food more tasty is why you think it’s addictive. Maybe we should ban mustard and ketchup also.

  33. Thanks Vani. I will not eat at Chickfila until they comply with ALL of the changes that NEED to be implemented. They want us to eat chicken only, but have yet to choose chicken that are raised without antibiotics and are GMO free as well as MSG free, thats a red flag. Keep up the great works. So glad I discovered your site.

  34. I almost forgot, I hope they change the artificial sweetener, which contains aspartame, that they use for their lemonade and the high fructose corn syrup that is in ALL of their sauces. Did you get a chance to discuss these with them also?

  35. Can I just say how wonderful this is, and how horrified I am at some of the comments? Let’s just be happy and grateful and nice! Thank you for what you did. I saw you on CNN and now I am addicted to your site!

  36. Umm bobs, some people actually make sure what they are eating isn’t going to poison them and wouldn’t you after so much other fast “food” restraunt started like McDonald’s, Murder king and Whatamurder do like HFCS, MSG and other additives. I work right next door to a chick fil a, don’t eat there much anymore after i decided i would go with the live and electric foods. But my brothers and sisters i work with, eat there almost everyday, even the employees working for CF eat here not knowing what’s the harm in these so called foods. 13 strength 13 vitality 13 love 31 hotep hotep

  37. Vanni good goin! A while ago I was just told about something similar to the poor conditions those chickens got on 20 20 or 60 min, I forget which, it was about KFC getting their Chicken from Tyson who were terrible to them. Once I heard this I stopped going there to eat. But sad thing is I miss KFC, Will you please do the same thing there? Chick Fillet is ok, never has been a favorite of mine. But I still am happy with all you do. See they are a huge corporation.

  38. I recently requested information from Chick fil A about GMO’s , Hormones and if they were going to follow the lead of Chipolte Mexican Grill to eliminate GMO’s and hormones from their menu. I quickly received the following (disturbing) email from them…..
    Thank you for taking the time to contact Chick-fil-A. You are very important to us, and we appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us.

    We purchase our chicken from several suppliers, and each has its own proprietary feed formula. In general, the feed provided to the chickens contains from 68 percent to 82 percent grain (corn, soy, wheat, etc.) with the balance comprised of vitamins, minerals, and protein-based products. All suppliers produce feed in accordance to good manufacturing practices. The U.S. government strictly regulates all feed additives and does not permit any type of hormones to be added to feed or otherwise given to chickens. Therefore, our chickens are “hormone-free.”

    All of our chicken comes from chickens that are processed under the continuous USDA inspection program. For further information, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site, Focus on Chicken at,

    Genetically modified foods have been around for several decades in the USA to produce food in adverse weather conditions. Most corn, soy, and cotton available in the United States are genetically modified.

    As of today, genetically modified foods are not required to be labeled unless there is something different about the modified food that was not there originally, such as an allergen component. Since these foods are not required to be labeled, we cannot say with certainty that we do or do not have genetically modified foods in some of our ingredients.

    Again, thank you for your time and interest in Chick-fil-A
    Sounds like they have quite a way to go before offering “safe” food!

  39. Over the past year I have eaten the previous recipe for the regular chicken soup probably an average of three times per week.
    I greatly applaud any company willing to do what is necessary to make a food healthier and less GMO.
    However, I cannot eat this new chicken soup. Several hours after I have horrible diarrhea with discomfort that persists for about 24 hours. I’ve tried it twice now with exactly the same result.

  40. Has anyone read this? I know it’s very popular today to be into real foods, but are we taking it too far?

    The problem with the internet is, for every thing you read, there is always another out there touting the complete opposite. I love eating real foods, but I’m beginning to wonder if all the effort is at some point, for nothing. There is a “team” of chemists on each side. You can argue that the ones who say toxins are safe are working for major companies like monsanto and have a hand in it, so of course they are saying it’s safe, but -that isn’t true of all who prove to debunk chemicals in our foods. There is also money in promoting the “chemophobia” mindset as well.
    Let’s not quit investigating just yet. But from all sides.

  41. I just watch your recent post, Oh, my gosh, I have had the same passion and voice inside forever. I research, research, and research some more. I have known this stuff for quite a few years. Unfortunately, people think I am a nut job. This speaks to my soul. I too feel like this is my calling. Tired of the same stresses and routine day in and day out being squashed by those that just don’t get it. I am turning 50 his year and am determined to work with like-minded people. If in your growth you need someone who has the same lifestyle, passion, drive and energy please message me. It would be a dream come true for me as I just have that part of me that needs a voice. Also, my true calling. Thank you and keep up the good work.

  42. Good for them. I’m glad they’re getting rid of gmo foods, hormones and additives. I can finally eat there now! Got to give it up to Chipotle for starting this healthy trend. Now, can the other chains step up and follow their lead?

  43. They see the writing on the wall. People demanding REAL food. Google “Clover” in Boston for a look at the future!

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