Does the industrialized coffee powder contain pieces of roaches?

In this text, we will answer the question: “Does the industrialized coffee powder contain pieces of roaches?” In addition, we will explain the reason for this, as well as discuss the fact that people with allergies to cockroaches feel sick after coffee consumption.

Does the industrialized coffee powder contain pieces of roaches?

Yes, it is true. Studies by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) show that up to 10% of green coffee beans (in some samples there are more) are infested with cockroaches and other insects.

The industries are not able to completely remove them from the grain, so they just roast and grind these insects along with the food.

It’s so common that the FDA has an acceptable level of “dirt and bugs” that can be in coffee. This standard, according to the FDA website, is no more than 10% of total coffee beans “by counting insect infested or damaged beans”.

All coffee industries must follow the same FDA standard. It’s not just that there’s a maximum allowed amount of cockroaches in coffee that every coffee can is mostly made up of cockroach legs.

Only whole and home-ground coffees are 100% free of these insects. This trend has become more common in recent times. You can get whole bean coffee of many brands and types and there are a variety of coffee grinders on the market.

What is the relationship between coffee processing and roach pieces?

From planting, through harvesting to coffee processing, there are numerous steps, which are described below:

  1. Coffee planting: it all starts with the planting of coffee in nurseries and on properly prepared soil on large producing farms
  2. Coffee flowering: usually occurs in spring, between the months of September and November
  3. Coffee harvest: must take place when the pods reach their physiological maturity state (cherry), which occurs during the dry season, between March/April and September
  4. Coffee processing: is the removal of layers from the fruit. There are several ways to do this, all with a different impact on the coffee taste
  5. Improvements: the coffee is cleaned and classified
  6. Coffee roasting: the process of transforming raw coffee into dry beans ready for grinding, creating a full-bodied, sweet, caramel-colored beverage with a complexity appreciated by any good coffee drinker
  7. Coffee grinding: this is the last step in coffee production before it is ready to be consumed as a beverage

All the steps described above need to be carried out masterfully to produce coffee. There are several points that need attention and care, so as not to spoil what has been done before or damage what will be done later.

It is hard work carried out daily by the producer and later by the other people that make up the coffee chain, which generates an incredible coffee for us to enjoy in our daily cups

It is precisely at this last stage that the infestation of cockroaches and insects in coffee deposits occurs, since it is very difficult to keep these pests away from the beans.

We verified through the coffee processing steps that the beans are cleaned and classified, but pest infestation occurs in the last stage of the process.

Since regulatory agencies (such as the FDA) know that it is nearly impossible to separate roasted beans from pests, they impose some tolerable limits on insect bits in products, these limits being not harmful to human health.

There are tolerable limits of insect pieces for most industrialized foods, not being a specificity of industrialized ground and roasted coffee.

What is the relationship between cockroach allergy and coffee consumption?

Since there are acceptable levels of cockroach pieces and other insects inside pre-ground coffee, it is entirely plausible that a person allergic to cockroaches will get sick when consuming this type of product.

Cockroaches are considered urban pests, often associated with dirt and disease. However, species considered as synanthropic represent 1% of them.

Like mites, cockroaches are capable of causing allergic reactions. This is because they produce substances that cause allergic reactions or aggravate reactions, such as asthma and rhinitis. 

The substances are spread over their paws and body in tiny fragments, and can spread through the air, as well as their feces, saliva, scaling (a secretion they give off) and dust from dead cockroaches can also contaminate the environment.

The ideal for this type of person is to purchase a grinder, buy the whole roasted beans and grind the beans at home, thus preventing this type of insect from being ground along with the beans.

The main symptoms of cockroach allergy are:

  • Sneezing
  • Running nose
  • Itching, redness or watery eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Itchy nose, mouth or throat
  • Cough

However, these symptoms are for environments that have cockroaches or for contact with these insects, the ingestion of this type of food with pieces of cockroaches can cause more serious symptoms.

The bottom line

According to this text, we concluded that pieces of cockroaches and other insects can actually be found inside the roast and ground coffee packages found in supermarkets all over the world, but the amount of these insects in food is not harmful to human health.

Other FAQs about Coffee that you may be interested in.

Does instant coffee have caffeine?

Does Kahlua go bad?

Does strong coffee have more caffeine?


In this text, we answered the question: “Does the industrialized coffee powder contain pieces of roaches?” In addition, we explained the reason for this, as well as discussed the fact that people with allergies to cockroaches feel sick after coffee consumption.