Here’s How Much Filth Is Allowed In Your Food

According to the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA), it’s “economically impractical to grow, process, or harvest raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects.” Since they’re unavoidable, there are officially “acceptable” amounts of some really nasty stuff going into what you eat every day. Here’s a meal-by-meal rundown of some examples.


  • There can be an average of “10 milligrams of animal poop per pound” in coffee beans, along with 4-6% allowed to be moldy or “insect-infested.”
  • Every teaspoon of black pepper can have “40 insect fragments” and a “smidgen of rodent hair.”
  • Fruit flies can get caught in the freezer truck or trapped during processing of fruit.


  • Per 100 grams, peanut butter can have “an average of one or more rodent hairs” and “30 or so insect fragments.”
  • Apple butter can contain 12% mold and cherry jam can have 30%.
  • Golden raisins can have “an average of 35 fruit fly eggs” and “10 or more whole insects or fragments” for every eight ounces.


  • Every 16-oz. box of spaghetti can have “450 insect parts and 30 rodent hairs.”
  • The FDA only allows “2 maggots per 16-oz. can” of tomato juice.
  • In a 4-oz. can of mushrooms, there can be “an average of 20 maggots of any size.”
  • Canned or frozen spinach is allowed “an average of 50 aphids.”

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