Why There Is Chlorine on Your Chicken

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • In the U.S., most poultry that comes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is washed in a strong chlorine or other antimicrobial solution as a way to kill pathogens
  • The EU has banned U.S. chicken imports since 1997 due to the practice of chlorine washing
  • The U.K.’s plan to exit from the EU has opened the issue for debate, as the countries will have the option to reconsider their current laws, including whether or not to accept “chlorine chicken” from the U.S.
  • The U.S. government offered to pay up to $93,257 (£75,000) for an organization to gather up prominent British journalists and take them on tours of U.S. chicken farms
  • Chlorine washing may not remove bacteria as expected, but simply renders it unable to be detected by standard testing

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