Canadian Poultry Magazine

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What is chlorine-washed chicken?

August 29, 2017


August 29, 2017, U.S. – Chlorinated chicken– or chlorine-washed chicken – simply means that chicken was rinsed with chlorinated water;

chlorine is not present in the meat. Just as chlorine helps make drinking water safe, it can help remove potentially harmful bacteria from raw chicken.

Numerous studies and research have confirmed that the use of chlorinated water to chill and clean chicken is safe and effective. Chlorine-washed chicken does not pose any human health concerns and it is not present in the final product.


Hypochlorus (i.e. chlorine) is a common disinfectant used in water treatment and food processing worldwide. Although it is proven safe, a lot of U.S. plants have moved away from chlorinated water in their chilling systems and rinses, opting for alternatives.

The National Chicken Council would estimate that chlorine is used in chilling systems and rinses in about 20-25 per cent of processing plants in the U.S., as a lot of U.S. plants have moved away from its use. Most of the chlorine that is used in the industry is used for cleaning and sanitizing processing equipment.

All chicken produced in the U.S. is closely monitored and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). READ MORE

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1 Comment » for What is chlorine-washed chicken?
  1. Frances Prew says:

    This article is dated 2017 and, though under ‘Canadian Poultry, addresses American chickens with reference to chlorine washing. What is the situation in Canada, for Canadian chicken? Is it chlorine-washed?
    Where is chicken purchased at Metro in Ottawa, ON raised (USA or Canada), and is it chlorine-washed? Britain will not allow in chlorine-washed chicken. Should Metro accept it? This article notes that chlorine washing is useful and harmless, or removes harm. What are we to think?

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