A Rubio’s Coastal Grlll. Image from company video

Carlsbad-based Rubio’s Restaurants is joining the natural food trend with an announcement Wednesday that beginning in the spring it will serve only all natural chicken raised without antibiotics and bacon with no nitrates or nitrites.

The company said the switch to all natural food is part of its “Made With a Mission” commitment to serve fresh coastal food that guests can feel good about eating.

“Our promise to source quality ingredients started when we opened the first Rubio’s restaurant in San Diego more than 30 years ago,” said Co-Founder Ralph Rubio. “As guests’ expectations progress over time, and the demand for simple ingredients and transparency grows, we will continue to evolve our ingredients to stay ahead of the changing expectations.”

The company said it keeps a list of ingredients that are never allowed in the kitchen, including artificial sweeteners, certified FD&C colors, MSG and partially hydrogenated oil. It said it is exploring the introduction of sustainable, wild-caught salmon and beef raised without antibiotics.

Rubio’s employs over 4,000 people and operates 194 restaurants in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.