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Food with rat hair and maggots – what Brexit trade deal with Trump could be like

Noddles infested with rat hair, insects in chocolates and orange juice complete with maggots – these are just some of the fears of what a post- Brexit trade deal with the US could bring.

Producers in the States stick to a ‘Defects Levels Handbook’ which sets out the maximum number of ‘foreign bodies’ that can be in food products on the market, according to reports.

This reportedly outlines that a 25-gram jar of paprika can have 11 rodent hairs in it.

Up to 30 insect fragments are ‘acceptable’ in a 100g jar of peanut butter.

And for each pound of ginger, 3mg of mammalian excreta (rat or mouse droppings) would reportedly pass the test.


US producers are also allowed one maggot per 250mm of orange juice, Business Insider reports.

You could also find two maggots 100g of tomato juice or tomato pizza paste.

The US law also reportedly allows 60 insect fragments per 100g of chocolate and up to 100 for 10g of nutmeg.

Three percent of canned peaches and 5 percent of currants can be infested or eaten into by worms in the US, the report states.


The US Food Defeat Handbook says mould is an acceptable feature of a wide variety of food – including certain percentages of olives and cranberry sauce, Business Insider adds.

This is in contrast with EU regulations, which give no allowable limits of ‘foreign bodies’ in food products.

"Clearly, The Tories have some very unpleasant surprises for UK dinner tables if they have their way with a fast-track trade deal with the United States," Bill Esterson, Labour MP and Shadow Trade Minister, told Business Insider.

Caroline Lucas, ex-leader of the Green party and supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, added: "No-one voted for a Brexit that waters down the safety and hygiene of our food — but that’s what the government is pursuing."

But Liam Fox, UK Trade Secretary, has denied Britain will compromise its food standards post Brexit.

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