“PLEASE HELP!” exclaims Lisa in her submission regarding the grayish brown worm-like critter crawling out of the doughnut pictured below. “I got doughnuts yesterday morning and we ate a lot yesterday. And since we got a dozen I had some left over this morning. The doughnut was tightly sealed in wrap and this morning we saw the attached. You can see it’s coming out of the doughnut and I’m worried me and my kids ate the eggs (or something) from this huge worm. It doesn’t look like a maggot. Please help us. Is this a parasite? I already reported this to the health department but I really am concerned. Thank you so much. There is also an attachment video.”
To start with, we have to just comment on how horrifying this experience must have been for Lisa, and we completely understand her concern for herself and her kids. Regardless if this worm is a parasite or not, it cannot feel good to possibly have eaten worms or worm eggs. Now, unfortunately, we cannot confirm or deny if this is a parasite. Since parasites directly affect the health of the humans or animals they infect, they pose a medical situation. As such, identifying a parasite is tantamount to diagnosing a health issue. Only a medical professional can diagnose such issues, and, as such, only a medical professional can identify a parasite. If Lisa wants to get herself and her kids checked for parasites, we advise consulting a medical parasitologist. Unfortunately, primary care physicians typically do not receive training in parasitology, and our past readers have had some poor experiences consulting their primary care physicians about similar concerns, which is why we rather recommend consulting a medical parasitologist.
To find a medical parasitologist or other health care provider who can actually help, our reader can do one or more of the following:
– Visit our parasite care resources page here: https://www.allaboutworms.com/get-medical-attention-and-tests-for-parasites
– Search for a medical parasitologist in their area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory.
– Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”.
If the organism is not a parasite, we would say it is likely some type of grain-eating pest, maybe some type of beetle larva. The two most common grain-eating pests are pantry moth caterpillars and mealworms, but neither of those species look like the worm Lisa found. At first, we were going to suggest that the parent insect laid its eggs in the doughnut mix (as many human food-eating pests will lay their eggs in or near the source of food), which later hatched, but we do not see how the eggs would have survived the doughnut getting deep-fried. The only other explanation we can think of is that the worm entered the doughnut while it was in the store. This could be a very unfortunate accident, or a result of poor hygiene practices at that branch. In any case, we think Lisa is absolutely right in reporting this to the health department.
To conclude, we cannot say for certain what the worm is that Lisa found in the doughnut, partly because we just are not sure, but mostly because of Lisa’s concerns about parasites. Only a medical professional will be able to answer the question of whether or not these are parasites. In the meantime, Lisa should definitely throw out the doughnuts in a trash can outside, so that if these are pests, the infestation does not continue inside her home, and she and her kids should be on the lookout for any symptoms that they could describe to their medical professionals, should they experience any. We hope this helps, and we wish Lisa and her children the very best.
All About Worms is always free, always reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP Publishing.