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Acceptable levels for rodent hairs and insect part

Have you ever found a hair in your bagel? It might belong to a rodent, and according to Health Canada, that may not be a food safety infraction. Health Canada provides guidelines for the general cleanliness of food, outlining how much microbiological or extraneous matter can be present before it is considered a food safety issue. Extraneous matter includes “animal and insect filth such as excreta, hairs, feather barbules, whole or parts of insects.” 

 

Under these same guidelines, it is acceptable to find up to 10 insects, defined as “whole or equivalent whole forms of insects (more than half a head including entire frons)” in a 225g serving (about 1.5 cups) of processed raisins or currants. The unacceptable upper limit is 20 insects per 225 g. You will probably never find any insects in your raisins or currants, as these are the testing protocols for determining food safety. But knowing there are permissible levels of rodent hairs or insects in some foods, you may want to inspect them closely before consuming. 


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