Panera plans to remove artificial ingredients by end of 2016

Krista Johnson passes an order to a customer at the Panera store in Brookline, Mass., Monday, March 8, 2010.

Panera Bread wants to remove artificial additives and is publishing a list of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives that the company has eliminated or intends to remove from its U.S. Panera Bread and St. Louis Bread Co. bakery-cafe food menus by the end of 2016.

Panera is the first national restaurant company in the U.S. to publicly share a comprehensive list of ingredients that will be removed from or never appear in its menu items, a news release from the company says.

The list includes substances like high fructose corn syrup and artificial trans fats. There are more than 150 ingredients that will be impacted, the release said.

For more than a year, Panera's culinary team has been working alongside suppliers to "un-engineer" its food menu, the news release said.

Beginning Tuesday, Panera said its cafes will offer new "clean" salad dressings that are made without artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors or preservatives. Panera says many of its salads, including the Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad and the new Kale Caesar, are made entirely without artificial additives already.

Panera has 1,901 cafes in 45 states and in Ontario, Canada.
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