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Eating crickets seems to be a growing trend in the USA. I am quite familiar with beef, chicken, fish and their internal temperatures when cooking. I also understand that you don't need to cook crickets to eat them; they are fine to eat raw.

I am curious though if there are other observations that can be made that will determine if a cricket is good to eat or not. Are they specific breeds of cricket that are more quality than others? Do some breeds have more issues than others?

Could a discoloration of a cricket indicate that is spoiled and should not be eaten?

  • @sdarb: Thank you! (I wouldn't call myself an authority as I've only worked in Africa for a few months but I'll try anything once except hard drugs...) ;-) – Fabby Oct 4 '18 at 17:18
  • better than nothing and more than I know about cookin bugs! – Sdarb Oct 4 '18 at 17:28
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+150

After doing a quick literature survey; I've found out that, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has published a report: Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security

Chapter 10 in this report discusses, food safety and preservation techniques.

Even though, the house cricket (Acheta domesticus), one of the few species in the document listed next to superworm, yellow mealworm, wax moth and butterworm, is found to be free from pathogens like Salmonella and Listeria. They conclude:

It is unlikely that these insects attract microbial flora that pose risks to humans

However they would still advise that:

These insects should undergo a transformation to render inactive or reduce their microbial content. This could involve cooking (e.g. boiling or roasting) or pasteurization (Giaccone, 2005).

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+50

As no one is answering, I can only give you anecdotal evidence from back when I was still working in Africa:

Insects were always fried live except for honey ants¹ and something the locals called butterworms².

Frying makes sense as:

  • frying is done at a higher temperature than boiling
  • these critters are too small to be roasted
  • you're sure of the freshness
  • any and all diseases they might carry would be surely killed.

Note¹: These were "popped" like pop corn, but without any fat: just thrown in an earthenware jug that had been sitting in charcoal for a while before any ants were thrown in. (These were the only insects I ever actually liked)
Note²: These were beheaded by biting their head off and then their internals smeared over a piece of unleavened bread-like substance made from manioc. (Nope: didn't try those; too gross even for me)

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