Maggots and rat hair! Full list of acceptable items in popular US food you could be eating


JEREMY CORBYN is set to warn in a speech today that the Conservatives will “slash food standards to US levels” where there are “acceptable levels” of rat hairs and maggots.

The Labour leader will accuse Boris Johnson of risking food standards to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the US if he wins the upcoming General Election. Speaking in Harlow, Mr Corbyn will say: “Given the chance, they’ll slash food standards to US levels where ‘acceptable levels’ of rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they’ll put chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves.”

The US Food and Drug Administration states the maximum levels of “natural or unavoidable defects” in food that “present no health hazard”, including rat hairs and maggots.

The Food Defect Levels Handbook allows up to 11 rodent hairs per 25g of ground paprika and one or more maggots in 250ml of orange juice.

Up to 30 insect fragments are acceptable in 100g of peanut butter and 10 fly eggs per 100g of tinned tomatoes.

And there can be a maximum of 100 insect fragments in 25g curry powder.

The FDA sets the sickening levels “because it is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects”.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer was challenged about the claims by Kay Burley in an appearance on Sky News.

She asked if Labour was “guilty of scare tactics”.

Sir Keir said: “If we move away from the standards we’ve enjoyed with the EU, we move to different standards, and I think the US standards are inferior to the standards we’ve got.

“It’s about the standards that we operate. We operate very high standards at the moment and I think there’s a big concern that those standards go down.”

But Michael Gove hit back, promising that food standards would not fall in a trade deal with the US.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told ITV News: “The only thing that’s maggot-infested is the Labour manifesto with all these ridiculous scare stories.”

In his speech today, Mr Corbyn will also accuse the Prime Minister of preparing to “unleash Thatcherism on steroids”.

He will say: “What Boris Johnson’s Conservatives want is to hijack Brexit to unleash Thatcherism on steroids.

“Johnson and the Leave campaign promised to rebuild our NHS. Johnson stood in front of a bus and promised £350 million a week for the NHS.

“Now we find out that £500 million a week could be taken out of the NHS and handed to big drugs companies under his plans for a sell-out trade deal with Donald Trump.”

And the veteran left-winger will say the Tories want to strip away employment and environmental protections in a move to a more deregulated US-style economic model.

Mr Corbyn will say: “Given the chance, they’ll run down our rights at work, our entitlements to holidays, breaks and leave.

“And given the chance, they’ll water down the rules on air pollution and our environment that keep us safe. They want a race to the bottom in standards and protections.”


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