What You Need to Know about Critters and Chocolate

Allergy suffers who think their bad reaction to chocolate is caused by cocoa beans may be surprised (and repulsed) to find out that there could be another “c” ingredient actually causing their bumps and shortness of breath: cockroaches.

On average, there are eight insect parts and/or droppings found in a single standard-size chocolate bar—all of which the FDA approves as safe. While there are various natural containments found in chocolate—after all it’s hard to prevent roaches and rodents from taking a nibble or two at a large chocolate-making factory— roaches typically cause the worst allergies. In fact, there are several studies that show roaches are directly linked to asthma and allergies, especially with inner city kids.

Bur roaches aren’t only found in chocolate, they can be found in an abundant of other foods processed and handled in large factories like peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, coffee, and even popcorn. What happens is that the roach parts get grounded into the food so it’s not really seen by the visible eye, however those who consume these foods and are allergic to the varmint begin to itch, develop hives, have trouble breathing, or even get migraines and stomach cramps.

While one may think the simple solution to the problem would be to switch brands, it’s not that simple. Again, the FDA approves these small traces of insects because they know it’s nearly impossible to avoid insect contamination. Even the “priciest” chocolate manufactures can’t guarantee that their chocolate won’t have any traces of insect parts or rodent hair.

So what to do? The first thing you need to do, especially asthma sufferers, is to get tested. This will determine whether roaches are actually the cause to your breakouts. Physicians first suspected allergies to roaches in 1943 but didn’t start doing testing until 1959. If you are tested positive for roach allergies, allergists can help subdue some of the symptoms by giving you a shot with some small traces of the insect to build immunity. Then your allergist will most likely help tailor your diet so that you’ll eat fewer foods that contain the critters.

It may sound repulsive and may make you never want to eat again, but it’s hard to get around it. The very least you can do is be weary of the foods that may induce asthma attacks.

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of Amelia Wood, who often writes about medical billing and coding certificationss well as other health topics. She welcomes your comments at [email protected]

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