Don't Believe This Gross Chocolate Allergy Myth

Chocolate is one of America's favorite savory treats. Rich in sweet and luxurious flavor and creamy as it melts in your mouth, the candy satisfies a specific craving that many of us have. But what would it take to get you to stop eating chocolate? There's a chance a creepy rumor on the internet could discourage you from indulging in the dessert, as a gross myth about the most common cause of chocolate allergies may make your skin crawl — even if you don't have allergic reactions when eating the treat.

In 2012, an allergist made some concerning claims about cockroach parts in chocolate and other foods in an interview with ABC News. While it seems like the myth can be traced back to this one expert's claims, fortunately, more recent fact-checking has debunked this rumor. In fact, you can enjoy the decadent candy to your heart's desire without worrying you'll bite into a cockroach (or that doing such a thing it will prompt an allergic reaction).

Find out all about the circulating misinformation below.

Cockroaches don't cause allergic reactions to chocolate

You might have seen a graphic on social media making some bold claims about chocolate allergies, like this Instagram post, which depicts chocolate pieces above text describing how most allergic reactions to chocolate aren't related to components of the actual chocolate. Instead, the photo claims, these are actually reactions to cockroach pieces that have contaminated the chocolate. It further alleges that FDA regulations "allow 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate" and that the average bar of chocolate contains up to eight insect parts. 

Fortunately, this isn't exactly true. Not only is the image stamped with a "partly false information" warning by Instagram, an FDA spokesperson clarified the regulations on insects with USA Today. Though some are partly true, the category does not include cockroaches. If there were cockroaches in chocolate sampled by the FDA — which is rare to begin with — they would have to take regulatory action and seize the product. The supposed average level of eight insect pieces per chocolate bar was also false; this is actually the threshold amount that would trigger the FDA to take action if a sample contained that amount, not a measure of actual amounts present in chocolate across the country. 

Several allergists were also consulted, all of whom agreed that cockroaches are not a common allergen in chocolate. Even if your chocolate did have trace amounts, it would be unlikely to cause a reaction. It's also widely agreed that more common allergens like milk and nuts are what cause most allergic reactions to chocolate products.