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Are There Bugs in Peanut Butter? (YES, But…)

Recently some stories have surfaced on the internet regarding bugs in peanut butter.

I have personally analyzed these stories and will be sharing the truth and myths surrounding them in the blog below.

Are there Bugs in Peanut Butter?

Technically, YES. Peanut Butter has bugs and cockroach parts in them.

But in reality, we can rule out the presence due to the extremly low percentage of bugs parts according toFood Defect Action Levelsset by FDA.

If the number of Particles of insect filth is 30 or more per 100 grams of peanut butter, it will be deemed unsafe for human consumption. If a batch of peanut butter fails this test, the entire batch will be discarded.

Similarly, If the number of rodent hairs is 1 or more per 100 grams of peanut butter, it will be deemed unsafe for human consumption, and the entire batch will be discarded.

And, If the quantity of Gritty taste and the water-insoluble inorganic residue is more than 25 mg per 100 grams of peanut butter, it will be deemed unsafe for human consumption, and the entire batch will be discarded.

The following table summarises the allowed limits set by FDA.

Filth TypeAllowed Percentage & Details*
Insect filth
(AOAC 968.35)
Average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams
Rodent filth
(AOAC 968.35)
Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams
(AOAC 968.35)
Gritty taste and the water-insoluble inorganic residue is more than 25 mg per 100 grams

*DEFECT SOURCE:  Insect fragments – preharvest and/or post-harvest and/or processing insect infestation, Rodent hair – post-harvest and/or processing contamination with animal hair or excreta, Grit – harvest contamination
Significance: Aesthetic

There can be bug parts in everything we consume. All our food and water consumption, contain a minute amount of bugs, fecal matter, bacteria, and viruses that pose no serious threat to humans.

But before you take such steps, I advise you to read the blog below to learn about the truth: Are there bugs in peanut butter?

Are there Bugs in Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter is made by grinding roasted peanuts and mixing a small proportion of salt, sugar, and oil as stabilizers. Peanuts are the underground legumes of the peanut plant. Therefore, it is essential to know that soil contains thousands of creatures, including bugs, roaches, and insects.

It is not surprising to find bugs attached to the shell of peanut legumes. However, after the peanuts are washed, dried, and opened, there are slim chances that some bugs or body parts will evade the cleaning or screening process.

Every batch of peanut butter undergoes strict laboratory tests before making it available to the public.

The processing plants have strict protocols and laboratory tests that confirm and analyze the allowed bugs and their body parts per gram of peanut butter. These reports are periodically submitted to the FDA and independently researched by their laboratories to maintain the standards.

The FDA allows 30 Insect fragments per 100 grams of peanut butter. This limit is deemed safe for consumers. The manufacturer discards any batch exceeding this value of fragments of insects in peanut butter.

However, this is ridiculous to ask that is peanut butter made out of bugs? No, it’s made of Peanuts, salt, and a few other ingredients.

Probably more bug fragments can get into your peanut butter while you are spreading it on your slice of bread before you eat it.

Organic Peanut Butter Also Have Bugs in It

The difference between organic and processed peanut butter is the way its made and the ingredients used. Organic peanut butter is made using fresh peanuts and salt. It does not contain preservatives or vegetable oil. Other than this, both are the same.

Nonetheless, both are made from peanuts harvested underground and contain bugs and their body parts. Organic peanut butter has more bugs and body parts than processed peanut butter.

This is because the strict regulations from FDA direct processing plants with enhanced surveillance, control, and laboratory tests.

In short, the peanut butter made in-home or so-called organic peanut due to lack of testing equipment has more bugs and body parts than processed peanut butter. So, stop dreaming of getting bug-free peanut butter.

Bugs in Peanut Butter do not impose Health risks

According to the hygiene hypothesis, children exposed to germs in their childhood have stronger immune systems than peers who are not exposed. As a result, they have fewer chances of developing asthma and autoimmune disease.

Keeping the above statement in mind, the bugs in peanut butter not exceeding the allowed limit is beneficial. Bugs impose no documented health risks in peanut butter. So you don’t need to worry about does peanut butter have bugs in it or not.

It is important to know that some individuals are allergic to peanut butter. As a result, they can develop a severe rash, digestive problems, and even anaphylaxis. The allergy is actually to a protein in peanut butter and not the bugs or their body parts (Source).

If you are afraid of roaches you might be interested in reading Katsaridaphobia, An Extreme Fear of Roaches! A very interesting blog.

Is there Rat poop in Peanut Butter?

As mentioned above, peanuts are the underground legumes of the peanut plants. The soil contains abundant bugs, insects, rat poop, bacteria, and viruses. A minuscule amount of these foreign organisms may get mixed with peanuts during processing.

So, in short, Yes! However, there is an insignificant amount of rat poop in peanut butter which poses no health risk and falls under the allowed limit by the FDA.

Do Mice Eat Roaches? Read this article to know more.

Is Peanut Butter a Non-Vegan Diet?

You probably wonder if the peanut butter contains crushed bugs and their body parts. Isn’t it a non-vegan diet? Let me assure you that peanut butter has so few traces that it’s considered insignificant by the FDA and vegan groups.

It is humanely not possible to get 100% bugs-free peanut butter. The manufacturer tries to take precautions as much as possible, but still, it’s naturally unavoidable.

Eating peanut butter with crushed bugs and body parts does not violate vegan principles. Therefore you should consume peanut butter in amounts you love.

If you are vegan and do not like to use the Best insecticides & traps to kill a cockroach you can also try Natural Palmetto Bug Repellents.


After my thorough research, I believe that the health benefits of peanut butter outweigh the health risk of not having it because it has bugs and their body parts mixed. Keep enjoying your meals.