Fazoli’s announced it has completely removed all artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives and colors from its entire food menu.

America’s largest fast casual Italian restaurant is the first national brand under 1,000 units and the third restaurant overall — behind Panera Bread and Chipotle — to offer a completely clean food menu.

Fazoli’s and its franchisees operate nearly 220 locations in 25 states. The Fazoli restaurant in Washington opened in October 2016.

“We are excited to be the next fast casual restaurant, along with Panera, in Washington to offer a 100 percent artificial ingredient free menu,” said Brad Swederska, owner of the Washington Fazoli.

“As a father of young children, I know how important it is to give your family quality food,” Swederska said. “Fazoli’s is a great all natural choice when deciding where to eat out with your family.”

Fazoli’s supply chain is currently 80 percent clean of all artificial ingredients, and on June 19, will be completely clean of all artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives and colors.

To achieve this important milestone, Fazoli’s has invested more than $1.5 million.

“Fazoli’s is proud to take the lead among national brands under 1,000 locations to offer a completely clean food menu,” said Carl Howard, president and chief executive officer of Fazoli’s.

“We credit Panera and, recently, Chipotle in doing the same, and are surprised that other larger restaurant systems haven’t done so as well,” he said. “We began this effort over a year ago with a commitment to our guests to deliver the best tasting, highest-quality food as possible — and going clean was the only option. They deserve to enjoy delicious, clean food and our size was not going to get in the way of us accomplishing this significant milestone.”

As part of its “Naturally Italian” initiative, Fazoli’s worked closely with nearly 50 suppliers to guarantee that a total of 81 artificial ingredients, colors and preservatives were eliminated from its food menu.

A few of the additives being removed from menu items include calcium propionate, nitrates and sodium benzoate from its proteins, salad dressings and signature breadsticks, as well as artificial flavors, colors and high-fructose corn syrup from all desserts.

Several of Fazoli’s menu items were already clean including all unfilled pastas, its signature marinara sauce and fresh salads. Fresh brewed tea will be clean, as well, and made with pure cane sugar.