Pickled Mouse Foot Is A "Special Additive," Enjoy!

A woman in Slovenia who found a preserved mouse foot in her jar of pickles complained to the Health Ministry. A ministry official wrote back with a summary of how mice parts end up in factory-made food products, and then concluded, “A mice-foot therefore could be classified as a special additive to the pickles.”

Ministry spokeswoman Vivijan Potocnik said: “It is completely normal in big factories to have mice wandering around, and yes, every now and then they get caught amongst the machines and do get bottled, seasoned, preserved and even make it in one piece to consumers.

“Although not very pleasant to see, however, they pose no health threat at all.

“During the preservation process even traces of any salmonella bacteria are eliminated in food. A mice-foot therefore could be classified as a special additive to the pickles.”

The Ministry will not be supporting the woman in a lawsuit against the pickle company.

(Thanks to Michael!)

“Mouse foot in pickles ‘normal'” [Ananova via MSNBC]
(Photo and special additive illustration: Getty; “Mickle” coinage and quite possibly trademark: “>Dwayne_Dibbly)


Edit Your Comment

  1. snoop-blog says:

    lesson here is: don’t buy pickles from slovenia!

  2. Electroqueen says:

    But Slovenian pickles rulez!
    This kind of stuff does happen with pests. Sometimes insects get caught in drink processing. I wouldn’t be surprised if I found a fly wing in my Snapple. Heck most of the time, the bugs are ground into a fine powder along the way.

  3. How big was the foot? I mean, they have to let the spices through, was the foot the same size?

  4. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I like how straight forward and honest they are. Like, “This stuff happens, it won’t kill you.”

    The special additive line, I hope, was a stab at humor.

  5. clevershark says:

    Slovenian pickles: now suitable for high-protein diets!

  6. @AlteredBeast: You got meat in your pickles?!?! You owe us more money!

  7. Landru says:

    And here I was thinking Slovenia wasn’t as advanced as us.

  8. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Man, I wish the US worked like this. A well written and well deserved STFU letter is exactly what this country needs more of.

  9. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: Is that a mouse in your pickles, or are you just happy to see me?

  10. ClayS says:


    I’m with you…I’m going to finish off the jars that we have in the house, but I’ll never buy them again.

  11. snoop-blog says:

    @Landru: hilarious! the best one liner i’ve read all day!

  12. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Great. Now I never want to eat pickles again and I’ve got that stupid song stuck in my head.

    Ben, the two of us need look no more
    We both found what we were looking for
    With a friend to call my own
    I’ll never be alone
    And you, my friend, will see
    You’ve got a friend in me
    (you’ve got a friend in me)

    Ben, you’re always running here and there
    You feel you’re not wanted anywhere
    If you ever look behind
    And don’t like what you find
    There’s one thing you should know
    You’ve got a place to go
    (you’ve got a place to go)

    I used to say “I” and “me”
    Now it’s “us”, now it’s “we”
    I used to say “I” and “me”
    Now it’s “us”, now it’s “we”
    Ben, most people would turn you away
    I don’t listen to a word they say
    They don’t see you as I do
    I wish they would try to
    I’m sure they’d think again
    If they had a friend like Ben
    (a friend) Like Ben
    (like Ben) Like Ben

  13. snoop-blog says:

    jimmy johns has thee BEST pickles! …..and sandwiches. seriously though i think they put cocaine in their bread, cuz that shits addictive.

  14. forgottenpassword says:

    Yeah, I realize that a lot of food we eat are accidentally contaminated with bugs & tiny animal parts and that there is an acceptable limit, but come on! Where does one draw the line? What if I found a human finger in my jar of pickles? Or a fried chicken’s head in my KFC bucket?

    Sorry, accident or not… someone has to pay when i discover an obvious contaminant in my food!

  15. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Mmmmmm…..nothing like a nice jar of Mickles(tm) to add life to the festivities.

    I don’t think I would have used the word “normal,” but yes, gross as it is, stuff like that happens. Plus, if I were going to buy pickles, I’d stay with a non-Slovenian brand in the first place.

  16. ludwigk says:

    Additives are supposed to improve products in some way. The mouse foot really doesn’t achieve this, so you really can NOT classify it as some sort of additive.

    Good to see that their food safety laws are complete shit. Sure, salmonella doesn’t survive the pickling process, but what about hardier contaminants, such as E. coli?

  17. BugMeNot2 says:


    Comparing a human finger to a mouse foot is really stretching for a comparison. Why not just got with human fetus to make an even stronger visual?

    Seriously though… the point is that stuff will indeed happen. And if the mouse foot did cause any (or have the potential to cause) harm, then someone should definitely have to pay.

    But it didn’t. The only “harm” it caused was probably disgust, which the consumer has every right to be, and likewise has ever right to never purchase pickles, or that brand of pickles, ever again.

    She doesn’t, however, get to pretend the foot is a winning lottery ticket (even though it is probably just as rare) and get paid out for something that the company most likely did everything it could to prevent.

    Stuff does happen, and its nice to see that there exists places in this world where you can’t just sue everybody.

  18. Steel_Pelican says:

    In Slovenia, health ministry complains to you.

    I can’t believe I’m the first one with that joke.

  19. forgottenpassword says:


    I think a lifetime’s supply of mousefoot-free pickles would be an appropriate award. ;)

  20. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Who said anything about suing? I think, at the very least, the company should be made to amend their labels. For example, when I buy dried cherries, the bag clearly states: “may contain pits”. That’s cool, right? Now I’m suitably warned so I won’t crack a tooth.

    The Slovenian pickle company’s labels should say, “may contain mice feet” or “mickles” [thanks Dwayne Dibbly!] as an additive or flavor enhancer. That way, people who are on a mickle restrictive diet can avoid these products and not choke on their own vomit once they realize a clammy, preserved mouse foot is sliding down their throat.

  21. ancientsociety says:

    Awww, look at that cute little pickled mouse. Damn you, Consumerist, I want one too!

  22. m4ximusprim3 says:

    m-i-c, k-l-e,

    It’s the mickle mouse fan club!

  23. @dwayne_dibbly: “Mickle” is such a great word that I’ve added it to the image.

  24. scoopy says:

    @m4ximusprim3: Yeah, that would make America much better. Rat feet in our food and companies telling their customers to go screw themselves. If I wanted to live in country like that, I’d just move to France.

  25. chiieddy says:

    Reason #646 to buy certified kosher dill pickles. :)

    Although, honestly, even deli pickles, you occasionally get a drowned mouse in the barrel. It happens.

  26. clocker says:

    So, Soylent Green is mouse feet?
    I’d like to see Charlton Heston deliver that line convincingly.

  27. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @clocker: You need Mickey Mouse to deliver it.

  28. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @Chris Walters: Thanks Chris! :D

  29. lovelygirl says:

    Erm… the fact that the Ministry spokesman says that it’s normal for mice to wandering around the pickle factory is really disturbing. Yuck. The picture is cute though lol.

  30. DallasDMD says:

    @chiieddy: How come kosher factories are often the dirtiest ones? Kosher is meaningless.

  31. madanthony says:

    I guess the slovenian government, unlike most US organizations, is not taking pickled mice seriously. They are not very concerned about it.

    At least they are honest.

  32. failurate says:

    Life comes full of risks. Letting someone else prepare your food, you open yourself up to the risk of things being in the food that you would not put in your food.

    When did the mentality that life (and food) would be completely risk free set in? and, that when one of the risks we take don’t pay off (not preparing our own food) we get to punish someone else?

    We’ve gotten flat out stupid with our expectations.

  33. Abor33 says:

    The thing poses no health risks. Get over it.

  34. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Abor33: Guess you’ve never heard of hantavirus or monkeypox or Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus? How about bubonic plague?

    You go ahead and enjoy your mickles; don’t mind us weirdos who prefer our food without disease-carrying rodents.

  35. The Porkchop Express says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: the plague was from fleas, this was just the foot.

    Seriously, this is gross as hell but whatcha gunna do?

    It happens. We all wish and hope that it doesn’t happen to us but it has to happen to someone. Thank god the mice are running around and this wasn’t a poisioned, fell dead into the vat mouse.

  36. bdsakx says:

    I’m still chuckling over that story graphic, hahaha!!!

  37. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Lo-Pan: Flea bites were/are a common vector, but one can also become infected via direct contact with an infected animal. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that eating a diseased mouse foot would count.

    “Bubonic plague spread generally occurs through direct contact with infected tissue or bodily fluids, bites from infected rodent fleas, or inhaling infected droplets. The disease is most commonly spread through the bites of infected fleas. Bubonic plague spread can also occur when someone handles infected materials or an infected animal…”