AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Would you like some mouse hair in your peanut butter? How about some bugs in your broccoli? It may sound gross, but our food contains everything from rodent hairs to small insects.
The FDA refers to it as “filth,” and they have an entire handbook that spells out how much is allowed in your food.
According to the FDA handbook, the government allows up to three maggots per 28-ounce can of tomatoes, 136 insect fragments in a 16-ounce jar of peanut butter, and 9 rodent hairs in your 16-ounce box of pasta.
UMass Professor Lynne McLandsborough specializes in food safety.
She told 22News you shouldn’t clear out your fridge just yet, food contaminates are regulated by the FDA, and the levels allowed are actually harmless. “The FDA uses the limits to define when there’s gross contaminates, because you can never completely eliminate it, it’s going to happen.”
If the amount in food exceeds the FDA limits, FDA spokesperson Peter Cassell told 22News, the agency takes immediate action. “Poor manufacturing practices may result in enforcement action without regard to the action level. Likewise, the mixing or blending of food with a defect at or above the current defect action level with another lot of the same or another food is not permitted. That practice renders the final food unlawful regardless of the defect level of the finished food. It’s important to know that the defect levels do not represent an average of the defects that occur in any products–the averages are actually much lower.”
If it’s going to happen regardless, you might as well dig in, and think of it as a little extra protein.