10 Shockingly revolting things that are allowed in your food legally
We’ve all heard the tales of disgusting things being found in food. Some of them become urban legends, like the woman who bit into her burger and discovered a half cooked rat. You might be shocked to learn, though, that not only are maggots, faeces, and rodent hair, quite commonly present in the food we eat, they are legally allowed to be there in many countries. Food standards agencies around the world, including the American FDA, accept that some contamination of food is an inevitable consequence of mass production and distribution. If you want to lose some weight, then this is the article for you, because some of the things that are allowed in food are truly disgusting. So, put down your lunch, because here are ten of the revolting things that are legally allowed in your food.
1. Rodent hair
If you think that finding a human hair in your soup us bad, how do you feel about knowing that there are rat hairs in your peanut butter? It’s true! The FDA doesn’t ban rodent hairs in peanut butter; it puts a limit on how many are acceptable. Peanut butter is legally allowed to have up to one rodent hair in every 100 grams.
2. Rotting fruit
It seems reasonable that the odd berry that had mould on it could sneak its way into a bag of frozen berries. After all, how could you inspect millions and millions of berries, one by one? The shocking truth though is that the legally permitted number of mouldy berries in a bag is 60%. That would mean that more than half of the berries on your plate could have started to rot!
If you have any tinned mushrooms in your kitchen cupboard, you may well want to throw them out after you read this. Maggots in your mushrooms are apparently perfectly acceptable to the guys at the FDA. A large, 100g tin of mushrooms is legally allowed to contain up to 20 maggots.
4. Fruit fly eggs
If you are tucking into some tomato sauce, then it might be worth bearing in mind that fruit flies love tomato sauce just as much as you do. They love it so much that they are quite fond of laying their eggs in it. But, that’s OK, because the FDA do restrict the number of fruit fly eggs, or the maggots that come from them, to just 15 per 100 grams of sauce.
5. Thunder flies
Thunder flies, which are sometimes called thunder blights, or thrips, are the perfectly harmless little flying insects that can be annoying on a hot summers day. Because they are so tiny, they can easily be overlooked in food and drink preparation. Manufacturers can get away with up to 40 if these little critters, per 100 grams, and you could find them in your asparagus and in your beer.
6. Dirt, grit and sand
Even the dirt out of the ground gets an acceptable limit in peanut butter. If you ever wondered why your crunchy peanut butter sometimes seems to be a bit extra crunchy, it could be because manufacturers are allowed to include 25mg of grit in every 100 grams of your favourite spread.
7. Foreign matter
It’s not just the things that nature can put into our food that are legally allowed, there are also allowances for what is euphemistically known as foreign matter. That covers anything else that might drop into the manufacturing process and that could include anything from a cigarette butt, to someone’s fingernail.
8. Animal faeces
There are even allowable amounts of animal poop that can be contained in food. That could be insect poop in herbs and spices, or mammalian poop on all sorts of foods. To be fair, the allowable limits are not very high, but poop is poop, right? And we don’t want to eat it.
Broccoli is so good for you; it has protein, fibre, minerals, vitamins, and mites. Mites love that broccoli too and they’re crawling all over it just before it is frozen and sealed in the bag. They don’t get a lot of chances to escape, though, so up to 60 frozen mites could well be hiding in 100 grams of frozen broccoli.
10. Bits of dead insects
If you look carefully, you might be able to spot a few dead insect body parts mixed in with dried products like macaroni. When macaroni is checked for insects, it’s only stopped from reaching the supermarket shelves if more than 225 insect parts are found in samples of 225 grams. That’s one bit of dead insect in every gram of macaroni.