How Concerned Should You Be About Hair in Food

Geo Beats
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According to Maria Colavincenzo, a dermatologist with a focus on hair at Northwestern University, eating one or two strands of hair won’t hurt you. The only possible danger is the rare case when hair strands are carrying staph bacteria, which might cause an upset stomach.

People get grossed out when they find a hair in their food, but is it actually unhealthy to eat hair?
According to Maria Colavincenzo, a dermatologist with a focus on hair at Northwestern University, eating one or two strands of hair won’t hurt you.

The only possible danger is the rare case when hair strands are carrying staph bacteria, which might cause an upset stomach.

Or if a large amount of hair is eaten, it could create a hairball, called a trichobezoar inside someone’s digestive tract, which could also cause stomach pain or other symptoms.

Hair is made up of a protein called keratin from which L-cysteine is derived, an amino acid used to stabilize dough, and to activate taste buds in salty, or savory foods.

Some food manufacturers obtain L-cysteine from duck feathers, and others by boiling human hair in hydrochloric acid, so you probably consume hair regularly. However this is not regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.

The FDA has reportedly cited no cases where ingesting hair caused sickness.

Tell us what you think. Are you grossed out if you find a hair in your food?

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