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Taco Bell Says It Will Be First U.S. Chain to Switch to Cage-Free Eggs

Taco Bell is the not the first national fast-food chain to announce plans to serve cage-free eggs exclusively, but it will be the first to actually accomplish it, the chain said Monday.

By the end of next year, the Yum Brands unit plans to serve only cage-free eggs at all of its more than 6,000 U.S. corporate and franchise-owned locations. The move is a nod to consumers' increased interest in ingredients and the quality of their food.

The move follows several years of planning and similar announcements by chains such as Panera Bread and McDonald's.

The new eggs will be "American Humane Certified" based on production standards set by the American Humane Association.

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"Delivering a sustainable and safe egg supply to Taco Bell restaurants nationwide in one year is possible due to the brand's large yet flexible infrastructure, and years of close collaboration with our partners," said Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's chief food innovation officer, in a release.

Taco Bell also reiterated the company is on target to get rid of artificial colors and flavors by the start of next year.