Are There Bugs In Peanut Butter? [MUST READ]

Are there bugs in peanut butter?

Are there bugs in peanut butter?

Peanut butter is a household delicacy that is popularly used as a spread for bread. It is quite tasty and enjoyed by many. On top of that its nutritional value is quite high compared to other bread spreads.

As you already know, it is made from ground and dry-roasted peanuts. Other ingredients are now added to improve its taste, texture, and flavor. The United States of America is the world’s largest exporter ad consumer of peanut butter. It is so large that there is a peanut butter day in the US which is the 24th of January.

There have been a lot of people saying that there are bugs in peanut butter. Is it true or not? You’re probably on this page to find out the real truth behind the rumor.

Are There Bugs In Peanut Butter?

The short answer is yes. There are actually bugs in peanut butter. It might come as a shock to you but parts of tiny insects can be found in peanut butter. You are probably asking why and how. All of your questions will be answered as we go on.

How Many Bugs Are In Peanut Butter?

In the peanut butter, you eat, there is a certain number of a bug or bug part that is permissible. Therefore, any peanut butter that contains more than this limit is unsafe for consumption.

The FDA has provided the safety range for bug parts in several foods including peanut butter. For peanut butter, it is allowed to have about 30 bug parts per 100 grams. Therefore in a standard jar of peanut butter, there might be about 150 bug parts in there.

Any batch of peanut butter that has more than this amount is deemed unsafe for human consumption. Such batch will be discarded.

 When Do Bug Parts Get Into Peanut Butter?

Does peanut butter contain bugs?

As we already discussed, peanut butter is made from grinding roasted peanuts. To enhance taste and texture ingredients like salt, sugar and oil are added.  Peanuts on the other hand are legumes that are grown underground. Have in mind that the soil is home to a lot of bugs.

You can now see how possible it is. After harvesting such a huge amount of peanuts from the soil there is a possibility that bugs would be attached to some nuts. However, there are strict processing steps that ensure that these nuts are cleaned and screened to the utmost.

Unfortunately, a tiny fraction of bugs can evade this cleaning process and get into the cleaned batch.

Although every produced batch of peanut butter has to undergo rigorous laboratory tests before being shipped out to the public.

Each manufacturing company has advanced cleaning technology to drastically reduce the number of bug parts in harvested peanuts. When eventually processed into peanut butter, they are subjected to strict tests to check if bugs and bug parts exceed the allowed quota.

For quality sake, these reports are sent periodically to the FDA. Additionally, it is thoroughly researched and scrutinized by their laboratories to uphold the standard of the brand.

Is It Safe To Eat Peanut Butter?

With the confirmation of this shocking rumor, you might be worried about the health implication of eating bug-containing peanut butter. However, the bugs in peanut butter pose no health risk to you. There is no need to worry about how it will affect your health.

You probably know of people that are allergic to peanuts. However, it is important to know that this allergy is not because of the bugs in peanut butter. Allergy to peanut butter is due to a protein found in the peanut itself.

In essence, there is no need to stop eating peanut butter because of fear of damage to your health. The FDA allows only 30 bug parts per 100 grams of peanut butter. This level has been deemed safe to consume without any health effects.

Remember that humans have been eating bugs as a source of protein. Even to this moment, bugs like termites still serve as a delicacy in certain parts of the world.

Does That Mean That Peanut Butter Is Not Vegan?

peanut butter on bread

Naturally, this would be the next question that comes to mind. With crushed bugs and bug parts being found in peanut butter, one might think about whether peanut butter qualifies as a vegan diet or not. Fortunately, peanut butter is still considered vegan.

The number of bugs and bug parts in peanut butter are in trace amounts and considered insignificant by the FDA and Vegan groups. You might ask, why can’t all the bugs be totally removed?

It is not humanly possible to produce nuts in such a massive amount that is bug-free. However, manufacturers try as much as possible to drastically cut down the number and bring it to an acceptable range.

Therefore, you can still enjoy peanut butter spread in large quantities without it going against your vegan principles. Not only is it safe, but it also remains a vegan diet as you’ve known it before finding out about this fact.

Enjoy your peanut butter with other vegan food as much as you like!

Does Organic Peanut Butter Also Have Bugs In It?

What is organic peanut butter? The difference between processed and organic peanut butter is mainly due to the nature of the ingredients used and how it is made. Organic peanut butter is produced from fresh peanuts and salt.

Unlike processed peanut butter, there is no vegetable oil or preservatives in organic peanut butter. Besides this, they are all the same. They both contain bugs and bug parts because they are made from peanuts gotten from the soil.

Although, organic peanut butter seems to contain a higher number of bug parts compared to processed peanut butter. This is due to the lack of strict regulation and surveillance by the FDA on organic peanut butter.

Organic or homemade peanut butter has more bugs and bug parts in them due to the lack of sophisticated cleaning technology, adequate laboratories, and strict surveillance. Therefore with the current technology, it is not possible to have 100% bug-free peanut butter.

If you think homemade peanut butter will be better, then you should think again.

Can The Number Of Bugs In Peanut Butter Be Reduced?

The current amount of bugs allowed in peanut butter and other foods are safe for consumption. The FDA has made sure that this allowed quantity of bugs and bug parts do not pose any harm to human health and will not lead to any future complications.

Manufacturing plants are doing their possible best to keep the number of bugs in peanut butter to the barest minimum. This is to say that having bugs in peanut butter is inevitable, at least in the foreseeable future.

Some people have proposed the use of pesticides on peanuts to kill off these bugs before processing. This might work towards reducing the number of bugs in peanut butter, but what about the health hazards of pesticides?

Therefore there is currently no way to eliminate the presence of bugs and their parts from peanut butter. Most manufacturing plants are doing their best to drastically reduce the number of bugs in peanut butter.

The FDA is also helping by periodically sampling batches of peanut butter produced from every manufacturing plant. If the number of bugs in any batch of peanut butter exceeds 30 bug parts per 100 grams, the whole batch is discarded.

To answer your question, manufacturing plants are doing their possible best to keep the number of bugs in peanut butter to the barest minimum. However, there is no known way to make peanut butter 100% bug-free.

Is It Just Bugs In Peanut Butter?

It might be shocking for you to know that you can find more than bugs in peanut butter. As you know by now, your loved spread is made from an underground legume. This makes it quite easy to mix with many foreign substances during processing.

Besides bugs and bug parts, other foreign elements you can find in peanut butter include rat hair, rat poop, etc. However, these foreign ingredients are present in very tiny amounts and pose no health risk to the consumer.

The FDA is also aware of all these other foreign elements found in peanut butter and has a range that can be allowed. For rat hair, the FDA permits 1 rodent hair per100 grams of peanut butter. Therefore your regular jar of peanut butter (18oz or 510g) can contain up to 5 rodent hairs.

Being made from an underground legume that is processed in large quantities, it is inevitable to find these foreign ingredients in peanut butter. However, the health of its consumers comes first. Therefore several adequate measures are put in place to drastically reduce the amount found in the finished product.

What Other Foods Have Bugs In Them?

When you think about it, is it just peanut butter that has bugs in it? As a matter of fact, not only peanut butter has bugs in them. It might be shocking to you that many other foods you enjoy contain bugs in them.

Some of them include chocolate, ground cinnamon, powdered milk, cereal, popcorn, tea, coffee beans, etc. As you can see, much of what we eat contains bugs and bug parts. However, there is a permitted number of bugs just like for peanut butter. If it exceeds that limit, the whole batch is thrown away.

For instance, the FDA has mandated that chocolate should contain no more than 60 bug fragments per 100 grams. This level and below has been deemed safe for human consumption with no apparent health risk. So on average, each bar of chocolate contains about 8 bug parts.

Another example is ground cinnamon. It is permitted to have up to 400 bug parts per 50 grams. Any level above this is considered unsafe for consumption and discarded.

Why Do The FDA Allow Bugs In Peanut Butter?

As you already know by now, making peanut butter that is 100% bug-free with the current technology is impossible. Therefore clamoring for completely bug-free peanut butter just means that you want the peanut butter to be removed from the market and unavailable to consumers.

For you to continue enjoying this creamy spread, the FDA had to step in to supervise. Through rigorous research, they have found out that a certain amount of bug and bug parts in peanut butter is not harmful to human health.

Therefore your body can tolerate these bug parts in peanut butter without being affected. This exact level is 30 bug parts per 100 grams of peanut butter. Therefore if any batch of peanut butter even has 31 bug parts per 100 grams, the whole batch is discarded.

This interference by the FDA has made every manufacturing plant take every means possible to reduce the number of bug parts in their peanut butter. It has led to the production of safe peanut butter available for consumption.

While attaining 100% bug-free peanut butter is currently not possible, the FDA has carried out necessary steps to make sure that peanut butter is safe.  The rumor is true; there are bugs and bug parts in peanut butter. However, they pose no health risk to you. This video offers more information.

Conclusion – Does Peanut Butter Have Bugs In It?

The answer to that is yes. Since it is impossible to remove all the bugs in peanut butter, the FDA has provided a range that is deemed safe. Hence 100 grams of peanut butter can contain up to 30 bug parts without harming your health. In essence, the standard jar of peanut butter which is about 18oz or 510g can contain up to 150 bug parts.

From the name, you already know that peanut butter is made from ground peanuts. The peanut is a legume known to grow underground. The soil is quite populated by bugs and rodents; therefore it is understandable for these foreign elements to be picked up during harvest.

Due to the size of harvest needed for the production of peanut butter, the peanuts are subjected to a thorough process of cleaning. This is all to reduce the number of bugs and other foreign elements in the peanuts.

However, total removal of these foreign elements is impossible, hence the safe range provided by FDA. Finding out that bugs are in peanut butter shouldn’t make you stop eating it. It has been proven to be perfectly safe for consumption.

Additionally, an allergy to peanut butter is not due to the presence of bugs and bug parts. However, it is due to a specific protein present in peanuts. You should also not think that peanut butter is not vegan. The FDA and vegan groups have concluded that the number of bugs in peanut butter is insignificant to make it non-vegan.

Even after finding out, that there are indeed bugs in peanut butter, you can continue eating it as you like. It is perfectly safe and healthy.


Are there lots of insects in peanut butter?

While insect parts are present in peanut butter, the FDA permitted number is very small and safe for the body to handle.

Why are there bugs in peanut butter?

This is because peanut butter is made from peanuts which is an underground legume. Therefore there is a high chance of mixture with bug parts and rodents.

Is peanut butter non-vegan?

Even though peanut butter contains bug parts, it is still considered vegan. The FDA and vegan groups have concluded that the number of bugs in peanut butter is insignificant.

Is peanut butter safe to eat?

Yes. Peanut butter is perfectly safe to eat.