You probably wouldn't eat a bug on purpose...but did you realize you've definitely been eating them unintentionally - and the FDA is fine with it.

The Food & Drug Administration is responsible for, among other things, food safety. They are responsible for checking that nothing dangerous gets in our food, and will coordinate recalls when something does go wrong. Seems legit.

To that end, the FDA maintains a handbook - The Defect Levels Handbook. This handbook is the stuff nightmares are made of if you're happier sprinkling that cinnamon on that toast rather than contemplating the insect parts and rat hairs the FDA is cool with being on your breakfast.

5 Disgusting Things the FDA is Cool With

  1. Rat Hairs - want some rodent hair with your apple butter? Cool, because the FDA allows 4 or more rodent hairs per 100 gms, along with hair in your pasta. Do yourself a favor - do NOT look up how much hair is allowed in ground spices. You'll end up eating a lot of bland food.
  2. Insect Fragments - like that old joke goes: what's worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm. In news that may rock your world the way it rocked ours - chocolate is allowed to have 60 or more insect fragments per 100 gms. A regular Hershey bar weighs 43 gms, so you do the horrifying math.
  3. Rodent Excreta - that's a fancy way of saying of saying poop. Yup, the FDA decides that there's an okay amount of rat or mouse poop in your food. For example: popcorn can have 1 or more rodent excreta pellets in 1 or more of the tested samples, and 50% of the samples are allowed to have 20 or more gnawed grains (in other words - something ate your food first.)
  4. Maggots - you like canned fruits? Not anymore. 5 or more fly eggs per 250 ml or 1 or more maggots per 250 ml is no problemo. Does that make it a protein shake?
  5. Rot - Who doesn't love a nice crispy potato chip? Especially a bag where 6% of the pieces by weight contain rot. Who needs salsa or dip when you can have that extra serving of rot?

Well. I think I'll go have a glass of water. Maybe. 



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