Tesco rules out stocking chlorinated chicken from the US even if it is allowed as part of a post-Brexit trade deal

  • Washing chicken in chlorine to kill bacteria is common in the United States 
  • However, it is banned in the United Kingdom due to European Union food rules
  • A post-Brexit trade deal with the US could lead to imports of chlorinated chicken
  • However, Tesco boss Dave Lewis has ruled out ever stocking chlorinated chicken

Tesco will not stock chlorinated chicken even if a future United States trade deal changes UK food standards. 

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis ruled out selling chlorine washed chicken at a Financial Times event in London on Wednesday. 

Mr Lewis said people wanting lower food standards after the UK leaves the European Union ‘won’t find lots of support’. 

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis ruled out selling chlorine washed even if a future United States trade deal changes food standards

‘There is no US sourcing of chicken on my mind,’ he said. 

Chicken from the US is currently banned under EU food standards due to the widespread practice of washing chicken with chlorine. 

However, some in the UK are concerned a post-Brexit trade deal with the US could result in chlorinated chicken entering the country’s supermarkets.

Opponents of chlorinated chicken argue that the practice, which is done to kill bacteria, risks poorer hygiene in the farming process.  

Chicken from the US is currently banned under European Union food standards due to the practice of washing chicken with chlorine

Chicken from the US is currently banned under European Union food standards due to the practice of washing chicken with chlorine

The US government, however, has railed against these claims by continually saying that the case against chlorinated chicken is scientifically unfounded.   

 Mr Lewis praised the UK’s food standards when speaking on Wednesday. 

‘What I can say, the food standards around food safety, food security [in the UK] are among some of the best in the world,’ he said. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told US Vice President Mike Pence earlier this month that the UK was 'not that keen' on chlorinated chicken

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told US Vice President Mike Pence earlier this month that the UK was ‘not that keen’ on chlorinated chicken

‘Whatever the trade deals are [in the future] we, like other retailers, will look at them, but what we won’t do is give up our food standards.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told US Vice President Mike Pence earlier this month that the UK was ‘not that keen’ on chlorinated chicken. 

The pair discussed a potential future trade deal between the countries, which President Donald Trump has said could be done by next July.

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