Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC), a non-profit certification organization improving the lives of farm animals in food production, announced that Plan B Burger Bar in Connecticut is the first restaurant group in the U.S. to become Certified Humane Raised and Handled.

The “Certified Humane” designation assures consumers that meat, poultry, egg, or dairy products have been produced according to HFAC’s standards for humane farm animal treatment. Animals must receive a nutritious diet without antibiotics or hormones and must be raised with shelter, resting areas, and space sufficient to support natural behavior. Since the HFAC program was unveiled in May 2003, more than 65 companies representing hundreds of farms and millions of farm animals have been certified.

Plan B Burger Bar opened in July 2006. Founder and CEO Al Gamble decided early on that the store wouldn’t use chemically processed, frozen, prepackaged beef, so it opts to have butchers on staff grind whole chuck daily, in house, to ensure the total quality and freshness in every burger. He chose to serve only Meyer Natural Angus Beef because it is “Certified Humane.”

“We see the certified humane label as proof of our commitment to responsible business practices and it’s the perfect complement to our certified natural beef program,” Gamble says. “In a world where beef is often mass produced, chemically processed, prepackaged, and frozen, our hamburgers are made from fresh, never frozen, ‘Certified Humane’ Meyer Natural Angus Beef. We only grind whole chucks to our strict specifications daily. This way we have total control over the quality and freshness of every burger, and that’s the way it should be.”

“We noticed that there were a lot of confusing labels that stated things like ‘natural certified beef’ or ‘independently certified humane,’ and we wanted to educate the consumer to the fact that there are set standards and a defined protocol in place that dictates the rights to say ‘Certified Humane’ and that this not just clever marketing,” says Lena DiGenti, brand strategist for Plan B Burger Bar. “We can all take a stand and keep food fresh, healthy, and profitable while supporting traditional farming practices that are dedicated to improving the welfare of farm animals from birth through slaughter.”