Insects Hiding in Your Food

Insects Hiding in Your Food

You might want to be a little more careful the next time you go to the grocery store to buy food. That pasta sauce or bag of potato chips may contain a few ingredients not listed on the package label. We usually trust products that have been approved by the FDA. However, the FDA is not quite as reliable as you might have thought when it comes to making sure the food we buy is totally free of defects. It turns out they don’t mind letting a few thing slide by, what they refer to as “natural or unavoidable defects.” The FDA’s “Defective Levels Handbook” describes what level of “defects” are acceptable in food including the limits of “insect filth,” “rodent filth,” “mammalian excreta,” insect parts, flies, mold, rot, pits, sand and grit that are permitted.

Here are some examples of the “defects” the FDA allows in our food: A 3.5 ounce container of peanut butter can contain an average of 30 insect fragments. A can of tomatoes generally has an average of 10 fly eggs. Canned mushrooms are limited to only having an average of 20 maggots before the FDA decides it is “adulterated.” Apparently, because they’re not harmful, it’s ok for our food to contain bits of insects, their eggs, and even their excrement. I, for one, beg to differ.

Did you know that most of the food you buy has small amounts of insect parts in it? How is this going to affect your shopping habits?

About smithereenpestmanagement

Smithereen Pest Management provides IPM pest services to residential and commercial clients in Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri.
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