Vegetarian? Think again.

Without a doubt, each person reading this has heard at least one story of random food findings.  When the stories break there’s a rush of stories hitting Facebook and Twitter with people telling their tales – some true, others, well, that’s up to the reader to decide.

Such items have been reported in the media including a knife in a Subway sandwich, a finger in a bowl of Wendy’s chili, and a chicken’s head in a package of McDonalds chicken McNuggets.  I’ve seen the pictures online…they look real to me.

I turned to Facebook to ask my friends what they had found in their food. Though not as extreme as the aforementioned treasures, a few were reported:

– a black rubber washer in my burger

– an elastic in my salad

– a piece of stem-like wood in my salad

– a screw in my Wendy’s salad (I was there for this one.  She took it back in and they were thankful because they knew where the screw had come from and they were now able to fix their equipment!)

*** NOTE: Looking at this list I have found that my friends eat a lot of salad.  Looks like it’s safer to eat meat.  And after reading this, you’ll find a considerable amount of “meat” or at least “meat alternatives” in your food anyways.

Certainly these sorts of finds are unusual.  Many more, though, are permitted through the US Food and Drug Administration.  “Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 110.110 allows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods for human use that present no health hazard,” and “The FDA set these action levels because it is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects,” and “It is incorrect to assume that because the FDA has an established defect action level for a food commodity, the food manufacturer need only stay just below that level.”  The site assures that while these limits are set, the averages are much lower.

So, on that note, let’s get specific (Gag ALERT…read on if you dare)

– 20 maggots are allowed for every 100 grams of drained mushrooms.

– At anywhere from 1/25 to 1/8 of an inch long, Thrips, these tiny little winged parasites are legally allowed in apple butter, canned or frozen asparagus, frozen broccoli, and frozen Brussels sprouts.

– Five fruit flies with every 8-ounce cup of juice. An 8-ounce handful of raisins and you could be eating as many as 35 fruit-fly eggs.

– 30 or more insect fragments in 100 grams of peanut butter.

– 475 insect fragments in 50 grams of ground pepper.

– Average of 10 or more fly eggs per 100 grams, OR 5 or more fly eggs and 1 or more maggots per 100 grams, OR 2 or more maggots per 100 grams, in a minimum of 12 subsamples of tomato juice.

This list is extensive and can be found online at the FDA site.

Take comfort friends, the government has everything under control and is only looking out for the good of it’s citizens.  So, what are you having for lunch today?  Still hungry?

Everyone has a story and I think that if animals could talk in a language we could understand, they would have a story too.  I wonder what story the frog found in a can of Diet Pepsi would be…?

More food findings found can be found here…

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