Q. Why do American chicken farms soak their chicken in chlorine when it’s illegal in Europe?
answered by Mats Andersson, Professional Translator English into Swedish (1991-present)
The general reason is that the use of chlorine is harmful to the environment in various ways, and it is much more restricted in Europe.
The specific reason is twofold, but is based on that chlorine bleaching is used to mask poor hygienic standards in the poultry industry.
Firstly, food poisoning is common in the US and very rare in Europe; we have basically got rid of “primary” poisoning, where the ingredients are contaminated, and almost only have what you might call “secondary” poisoning, where the food is not properly handled between the stove and the plate (allowing bacteria to grow).
Secondly, in the US poultry is allowed to live its life infected with various diseases, and then the bacteria are killed after slaughter. We consider this to be an animal welfare issue. We have a moral responsibility to look after the animals we raise so that they do not suffer unduly; this includes keeping them as healthy as possible.
On a more basic level, there is a world of difference between the US and the EU as regards consumer protection. In the US, you are allowed to sell anything that has not been proven to be harmful; the company’s right to make a profit is paramount. In the EU, you are allowed to sell anything that has been proven to be harmless; the consumer’s right to be safe is paramount.
source : Quora