FDA Defect Levels Handbook - Know More About the Food you Buy

Just what are you buying when you purchase commercially prepared foods, spices, and nuts? Mold, bugs, rancid bits, larvae and more and they’re all there legally!  Yep, the FDA has a handbook available to let manufacturers know exactly how many bug bodies are allowed in their products,  the percentage of allowable mold, and worse yet, how much rodent excrement is allowed.  Gross?  Yep!

Here’s an example of a family favorite – popcorn

The FDA Defect Levels Handbook lists it as:

POPCORN Rodent filth (AOAC 950.91)1 or more rodent excreta pellets are found in 1 or more subsamples, and 1 or more rodent hairs are found in 2 or more other subsamples
OR
2 or more rodent hairs per pound and rodent hair is found in 50% or more of the subsamples
OR
20 or more gnawed grains per pound and rodent hair is found in 50% or more of the subsamples
Field corn 5% or more by weight of field corn

DEFECT SOURCE: Rodent excreta – post harvest and/or processing animal contamination, Rodent hair – post harvest and/or processing contamination with animal hair or excreta, Rodent gnawing – post harvest and/or processing damage, Field corn – harvest contamination
SIGNIFICANCE: Aesthetic

Gotta laugh that they think it won’t be aesthetically pleasing to have rat poop and hair in our popcorn. Silly me, I thought the significance would be that we would find it totally disgusting to be eating it!  Is it really that hard to keep rat crap out of our food?  You won’t believe how many foods it’s allowed in.

Perhaps if more people knew about the FDA Defect Levels Handbook, more people would demand clean food production. One can hope.