If you find cockroaches in your food, you might think twice to throw it away. But, food contamination by cockroaches is a serious problem. These pests can spread disease and taint food with their feces and saliva. In some cases, cockroaches have even been known to bite people.
While the risk of being bitten by a cockroach is low, the risk of contracting a disease is much higher. Those with healthy immune systems usually don’t experience any symptoms. It doesn’t diminish the threat to your health, however. If you find a roach in your food, don’t take the risk and dispose it. Call a NEA pest control expert asap if you notice an infestation.
How dangerous can be cockroaches in food?
Roaches are not inherently dangerous or capable of making harmful substances from their bodies. However, they do consume decaying or unsanitary items, which may include:
- Rotting food
- Decomposing animals or insects
- Dead skin cells
Substances can cover cockroaches while navigating and consuming these materials. As a consequence, they can carry around bacteria, allergens, fungus, viruses, and spores.
If a cockroach wanders through your dinnerware, then it may well have smeared the pathogens all over your meal. Once you eat the contaminated food, the dangerous residues will be ingested through your mouth.
Can you eat cockroach-contaminated food?
Unless you notice roach feces in your food, you wouldn’t notice that they’d been there. Unfortunately, you can’t tell how many bacteria are left from a roach, either. Likewise, you can’t tell the types of bacteria or harmful toxins left behind.
A very healthy person might not be sickened by pathogens and allergens that have been introduced to their body. Their body’s defense mechanisms may fight the toxins to enter their system. One will likely not experience any unfavorable effects and can carry on with life. This outcome is only possible if:
- The body can resist the pathogen successfully.
- The types of contaminants left by cockroaches in your food are harmless or more easily processed by your system.
But this will not happen to everyone who has ingested cockroach-contaminated food. You will not know how your body will react until it is too late.
What are the potential diseases that cockroaches carry?
In a study made by the International Journal of Scientific Studies, roaches were found to carry a variety of pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and fungi. They can transmit hepatitis, cholera, typhoid fever, and more. But in most cases, you can feel symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, flu, or food poisoning.
It’s worth mentioning that cockroaches do not actively cause illness, but are just passively harmful. They are considered mechanical vectors and are known by the scientific world as ‘passive.’ This term means that, on their own, cockroaches do not cause any health problems. Most cultures worldwide eat cockroaches as a staple of their diet.
Nevertheless, your kitchen roaches are another story. It’s easy to get sick from pathogens that these insects carry.
Are cockroaches in food deadly to ingest?
A cockroach may enter your food undetected in heavily infested homes. Eating a roach is not more dangerous than eating food that it has crawled over. Don’t freak out. It doesn’t mean the immediate deaths of some individuals.
Intestinal diseases due to ingesting food tainted by cockroaches are rarely fatal and untreatable. One cannot possibly consume a fatal dose of bacteria from roaches.
However, if you have an infection and refuse to seek treatment, the condition can get worse. You are more likely to die from diseases due to complications than ingesting pathogens alone. Below are health risks you can experience by eating food contaminated by cockroaches:
1. Cockroaches in food can trigger asthma or allergy
In addition to bacteria, cockroaches can cause breathing difficulties if people have asthma. This is due to the surface of the exoskeleton of these bugs can collect dirt and exacerbating symptoms. If you’re allergic to dander, you may feel negative reactions such as hives, coughing, swelling, and difficulty of breathing.
2. Cockroaches in food can cause second-hand poisoning
Cockroach control products can be fatal to humans. A cockroach covered in bug poison from baited traps or bug spray can likely crawl over your food. The poison can rub off on your food as the roach traverses it.
If you consume this poison second-hand through a cockroach, you could be in danger. The more so if you consume the entire pest by accident. Keep an eye out for poisoning symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, lack of concentration, and stomach pain.
What if you accidentally eat tainted food?
It’s not the cockroach that is the hazard, but the bacteria it carries. It shouldn’t result in immediate death because most bacteria will take a while to display symptoms. You’ll have sufficient time to deal with it.
Keep an eye on any abdominal pain or other symptoms if you believe you consume tainted food. If the pain manifests, call a medical professional immediately.
What to do when you find a roach in your food?
After roach sighting, throw out any food that was contaminated. Remove any other food items that were possibly touched by the bug. If you have already eaten the food unintentionally, you may not become sick right away. Repetitive eating, however, could lead to illness.
How to keep food safe from cockroaches?
It can be tricky to completely eradicate an infestation. However, there are many ways to keep cockroaches out of your food. Check out the steps on keeping cockroaches away in this article.
Finding cockroaches in food can be alarming due to the health risks involved. If you need help in controlling their population in your home and stopping their return, just give us a call. We are a team of specialists that can get the job done using 100% non-toxic, safe, and eco-friendly techniques.