Allergic to chocolate? Study reveals cockroach parts–not cocoa–real culprit

March 31st, 2012 by | Permalink

(Photo via Stuart Miles)

It may come as a surprise, but in every batch of chocolate that makes its way to our store shelves there is an average of 8 insect pieces mixed into the sugary goodness.

While yet another blemish on the food industry’s honor, the insect parts have a much more significant role to play when it comes to people with chocolate food allergies. ABC News reports people with an aversion to chocolate are not really sensitive to the cocoa and other intended ingredients, but are allergic to the cockroaches ground into the batch while at the factory.

“Most foods have natural contaminants in them, but there are levels which the FDA deems safe. Anything more than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate is rejected by the FDA,” said allergist Dr. Morton M. Teich. “Allergists are testing now because they’re finding that asthma can be caused by cockroaches. I have patients whom we’ve tested for cockroach who really get reactions.”

Unfortunately for food allergy sufferers, cockroach parts are found in other common foods beyond chocolate; peanut butter, fruit, popcorn, cheese, and wheat are all commonly contaminated.

People allergic to cockroaches suffer from respiratory ailments, hives, migraines, itching, and cramps. If you are suspicious you or your child may have this allergy, testing has been in modern practice since 1959. In most cases, allergy shots can lead to a significant improvement of symptoms.

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