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How Many Maggots Does the FDA Permit in Canned Mushrooms?

The FDA allows up to 30 maggots per 3.5 ounces (about 100 grams) of canned mushrooms. Maggots aren't the only things making it into food — berries, including canned and frozen blackberries and raspberries, can have up to a 60 percent mold count without being rejected, and citrus juices can have up to five or more fly eggs or one maggot per 8.5 ounces (about 250 ml).

More facts about food and FDA standards:

  • By FDA standards, "foreign matter" can include things such as plant stems, burlap sack material or cigarette butts.

  • Tomato products tend to have low standards for mold counts, too; tomato ketchup can have as much as a 55 percent mold count, and tomato juice can have a 24 percent mold count calculated from six samples. It also can have as many as 10 fly eggs per 3.5 ounces (100 g), but only if there are no maggots. If there is a maggot, then there can be only five fly eggs before the juice is considered defective.

  • Despite the cringe factor, the FDA has said that foods that fall under the defect limitation are not health hazards.
Discussion Comments
By anon986875 — On Jan 28, 2015

Maggots in mushrooms -- what's the point? I mean, ewww, FDA. Sure. Really gross.

By anon345693 — On Aug 21, 2013

And the purpose for this is what? And Why? I mean really, what is this all about?

By anon323121 — On Mar 03, 2013

Ideally, there would be no maggots of fly eggs in your food but that's next to impossible. When you transport these goods, they're usually transported in large containers, not just a juice box. It isn't possible to keep it completely sealed from the environment. Flies will get inside and lay eggs, which hatch and become maggots.

The same principle applies to all grains. When rice or wheat is ground up and transported on a ship, you will get rats. So the FDA isn't going to reject every ship load of grain they come across, thus there is an allowable amount of rat feces in all grain.

Source: I work in the transportation industry.

By anon306559 — On Nov 30, 2012

Just cook it real good. You'll be fine.

By anon299295 — On Oct 24, 2012

I understand how roaches or flies/maggots can get into products but cigarette butts? Really? I'm glad I don't consume mushrooms, ketchup and orange juice!

By anon286155 — On Aug 19, 2012

Does any one know what the whole idea of all this maggot and fly egg issue is all about? is there a reason for it? I don't understand why they need to be in our foods.

By anon263262 — On Apr 23, 2012

Seriously, our government lets us eat maggots? Well, there you have it!

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