A recent review of available scientific literature suggests that, when cooked or processed in certain ways, edible insects can be a safe food product. Food safety considerations for the commodity were explored in the review, including microbiological contaminants, anti-nutritive factors, pesticide residues, toxic heavy metals, mycotoxins, and allergens.
The article outlined various food safety aspects of edible insects, stating that the commodity’s microbiological and anti-nutritive characteristics are of greatest concern. In general, research has demonstrated high counts of microorganisms to be present in fresh insects; however, with the appropriate thermal treatment, microbial loads can be eliminated. As with other foods, the efficacy of heat treatment on edible insects depends on factors such as the type, intensity, and duration of treatment, as well as the treated food composition. Solar and oven drying were underlined by the review as potential heat treatment methods.