Concerns Regarding UK’s Future Food Safety

Chicken decontamination

A bilateral trade deal is currently being negotiated between the US and UK, due to the execution of Brexit. The potential loosening of current EU-enforced food safety has caught the attention of British media. Especially chlorine-washed chicken, which is legal in the US, has caused concerns among British Poultry Council (BPC), Open Britain, and other food safety advocates.

Using chlorine as a decontamination method on poultry is banned due to health issues, but the ban might be removed to ensure a swift trans-Atlantic trade deal with the US. Liam Fox is currently in Washington to lead the negotiation and has, in response to the media focus, stated: “The British media are obsessed with chlorine­washed chickens – a detail of the very end stage of one sector of a potential free­trade agreement”. Reports claim that Fox wants to import chlorine­washed chickens, which is 20% cheaper to produce. Richard Griffiths, chief executive at BPC, has urged the government to back British farming and said: “The UK poultry meat industry stands committed to feeding the nation with nutritious food and any compromise on standards will not be tolerated. A secure post­Brexit deal must be about Britain’s future food security and safety. This is a matter of our reputation on the global stage.”