FDA regulations on flies, maggots and our food

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ow many fly eggs and maggots can you tolerate in your food? One, five, ten, more? If you sit down to lunch at your favorite restaurant and notice a bunch of wiggly white critters exploring your spaghetti will you go back for seconds?

Didn’t think so.

Below are the FDA regulations for allowable amounts of fly eggs and/or maggots in canned tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato puree, tomato past, and pizza sauces sold in the U.S.

REGULATORY ACTION GUIDANCE

The following represents the criteria for direct reference seizure to the Division of Compliance Management and Operations (HFC-210) and for direct citation by the District Offices:

The average (minimum 12 subsamples) of any code, or of the lot if no code is present, is at least the following:

Canned Tomatoes
10 or more fly eggs per 500 grams or 5 or more fly eggs and 1 or more maggot per 500 grams, or 2 or more maggots per 500 grams.

Tomato Juice
10 or more fly eggs per 100 grams or 5 or more fly eggs and 1 or more maggot per 100 grams, or 2 or more maggots per 100 grams.

Tomato Puree
20 or more fly eggs per 100 grams or 10 or more fly eggs and 1 or more maggot per 100 grams, or 2 or more maggots per 100 grams.

Paste, Pizza and Other Sauces
30 or more fly eggs per 100 grams, or 15 or more fly eggs and 1 or more maggot per 100 grams, or 2 or more maggots per 100 grams.

NOTE: Drosophila maggots 2 mm, or less in length shall be considered equivalent to fly eggs, for the purpose of this guide.

YUM, YUM!!

For the metric system illiterate (like myself) 100 grams is equal to 3.5 ounces.

And, about those fly eggs:

housefly eggs

Housefly eggs [Image credit]

A female housefly can lay a batch of 75 to 150 eggs at a time. A single female can lay several batches totalling up to 500 eggs in about 3 to 4 days. Eggs are laid on any suitable food source such as decomposing food in garbage, animal excrement, carrion and other decomposing organic matter. Shown below is an egg deposit on a chunk of corn beef. Food is never pretty close up. The eggs are very tiny so the photo includes a pencil to give an idea of the eggs’ relative size.

What do you think? How much fly parts and eggs are too much? Is 2 millimeters an acceptable length for ingested maggots?

Not satire.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • selahV

    TMI :) this oughta help my diet immensely