This post is a part of A-Z Challenge for bloggers, that takes place every year in the month of April. Bloggers take part in this challenge for self improvement and to overcome the “writer’s block”. Each one of us writes one article everyday, starting from the alphabet ‘A’, right up to ‘Z’. My theme for this year’s challenge is – mind-blowing facts and theories.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has documented a handbook called the Defect Levels Handbook which outlines the types of defects mass-produced food can have and still be considered safe to eat. The reason this exists is because it’s impossible to mass-produce food without the occasional defect, and the FDA needs to draw the line somewhere to guarantee that people who eat that food stay safe and healthy. Some of the things that gave me chills are listed below. I’d suggest you to not read this article while eating!
Mites: Up to an average of 75 mites are allowed per 100 grams of canned or dried mushrooms! Yes! And frozen broccoli can contain up to 60 mites per 100 grams! Again, yes!!
- Maggots: Maggots are allowed in a variety of tomato products. For example, canned tomatoes can have up to one maggot per 500 grams, tomato juice and tomato paste can have up to one maggot per 100 grams legally!
- Rodent hair: These are commonly allowed in all spices like paprika, cinnamon, curry powder etc! Rodent hair is also allowed in peanut butter, popcorn, apple butter, chocolate, cocoa powder, corn meal and macaroni! I’m already loathing my kitchen shelves.
- Sand: There can be up to 40 milligrams of sand per 100 grams of raisins.
- Rodent Poop: Every 450 grams of ginger and fennel seeds are allowed to have up to 3 milligrams of rat poop mixed in each. For sesame seeds, the limit is a little higher – up to an average of 5 milligrams per 450 grams. (RIP my love for fennel seeds)
Insect Heads: The handbook notes that up to 13 insect heads are acceptable in every 100 grams of fig paste. The heads may enter at any point, either before or after the figs are harvested or during processing. So, how are only the heads getting in? Where’s the rest of their body FDA??
- Mold: This word is surprisingly mentioned 33 times in the FDA’s handbook! On an average, 5% of the berries and bay leaves by weight can be moldy. Whereas, canned and frozen peaches can be 3% moldy by weight!
- Foreign Objects: The FDA defines foreign matter as objectionable materials like sticks, stones, and even cigarette butts. Some foreign matter is allowed in mace (a spice similar to nutmeg), whole black or white pepper and sesame seeds.
No matter how disgusted you feel right now, but these things are perfectly safe in such small amounts. But, don’t forget to gross your friends out with these facts!