You might not find insects or rodent hairs featured when checking the ingredient list on cereal or a jar of nut butter, but they very well may be in there. While companies work hard to keep critters to a minimum they can be part of the package.
Consumer Reports Shop Smart magazine checked with the Food and Drug Administration and found, for example, a 24 oz. container of cornmeal can have up to 745 insect fragments and 27 rodent hairs in one box. Pasta, nuts, peanut butter, dried beans, grains, coffee beans, even chocolate can carry them as well.
Even pre-washed lettuce may not hold up to your standards as clean. Shop Smart bought 208 packages of salad and while 60 percent were acceptable, 40 percent contained bacteria that exceeded regular levels.
Then there's faux food. From blueberry pancakes to blueberry granola bars, oftentimes there isn't a true berry to be found. Instead, it's artificial flavoring.
You won't find much in the way of strawberries in some toaster pastries- fine print says it contains less than 2 percent.
And while strawberries are in the ingredient list for a McDonald's strawberry shake, the color comes from red dye No. 40.
For chicken nuggets, check the facts. You could be buying a product containing chicken and bones mixed together - more unappealing than dangerous. Avoid products whose ingredient list says "mechanically separated" if you want your nuggets bone-free.
Nuggets aren't the only meat to watch. Supermarkets may sell ground beef and steaks packaged with a gas that keeps them looking fresh for up to a month. This method extends shelf life, but is anything but fresh. So check dates carefully.
Finally, it might be time to can it. We've heard about bisphenol A found in plastic bottles, which is a chemical that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has claimed potentially harmful. This chemical is also found in food cans like soup, juice, tuna and green beans.
While companies are rallying to reformulate, you should buy food in glass containers whenever possible.