Bye-bye preservative-filled pizza.
Yum! Brands-owned (YUM) - Get Report Pizza Hut said Tuesday it will remove controversial food additives BHA and BHT from all of its meats by July. Pizza Hut's cheese will be preservative free, and its chicken will be absent antibiotics important to human medicine, by the end of March of next year. The company also created a website that shares information on its ingredients, mirroring a move toward transparency taken by other food companies such as Campbell's Soup (CPB) - Get Report .
"We are working to remove all ingredients from our food that do not sound amazing or do not sound like they should be in our food," Pizza Hut spokesman Doug Terfehr told TheStreet, adding, "This is important because it's important to customers, and it's important that we continue to serve only the highest restaurant-quality pizza."
While deemed safe by the Food and Drug Association, BHA and BHT certainly qualify as ingredients that are far from amazing.
Both are common food additives that can also be found in rubber, petroleum products and wax food packaging. Animal tests in other parts of the world have proven BHT to be toxic. Many European countries, the U.K. and Japan don't allow companies to put BHT in food products. Last year, food giants General Mills (GIS) - Get Report and Kellogg (K) - Get Report came under fire from a prominent food activist for using BHT in their cereals. General Mills has since worked to remove BHT from its cereal products, along with artificial colors and flavors.
According to Pizza Hut, the company has found a natural ingredient that does the same thing as BHA and BHT in helping to keep food safe. The announcement comes almost a year after Pizza Hut removed all artificial flavors and colors from its pizzas.
Pizza Hut joins several other well-known pizza players that are cleaning up their ingredient list to appease more health-conscious consumers.
In April, Papa John's (PZZA) - Get Report became the first national pizza chain to remove high fructose corn syrup from its entire food menu. The company removed all artificial flavors and synthetic colors, as well as BHA and BHT, from its menu in January. This summer, Papa John's grilled-chicken pizza toppings will be antibiotic free.
Earlier this year, fast-growing Blaze Pizza -- which was founded on the principle of serving pizza free of food additives -- removed nitrites from its pepperoni, salami, ham and bacon. Shortly, the company's menu will be completely clean -- or free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives -- after it removes such items from olives, garlic, salad dressings and blood-orange lemonade.
"We look strongly at what Panera Bread (PNRA) and Chipotle (CMG) - Get Report are doing, and have been on our journey to making sure our ingredients are clean -- no preservatives, no chemicals, no additives," said Blaze Pizza president and COO Jim Mizes in an interview last year.