are bird peanuts safe for humans

As the title suggests we do sometimes get asked, “Can you eat bird food?” We like to tell our customers that our high-quality bird seed is super-clean and safe for birds; however, even though some of the ingredients we use in our bird diets are human food grade, bird food is for the birds.

Some customers reply, “If the birds can eat our seed, why is it not good enough for humans?” The main difference between human grade seed and bird seed is the production facility and storage conditions. Human grade seed warehouses quite rightly have very strict hygiene standards and are usually monitored by the government. We’ve long since argued that bird food companies should enforce robust quality control, and indeed Haith’s set the bar very high in this department as we have an award-winning quality control programme that’s audited by a specialist veterinary expert.

White millet is one of the oldest known foods that are consumed by birds and humans but the grain must be hulled for human consumption. Most bird seed millet still has the husks intact and that’s fine because some birds get enrichment from cracking open the tiny shell to get to the millet inside. Take a moment to watch the rolling action birds such as Greenfinches use to crack open husks. So can you eat bird food? In a way, yes, you can – but buy it from your local health food shop or supermarket as ours is for the birds. Birds eat an astonishing variety of items when they are available and just like humans they love to eat things like sunflower seeds and millet. However, we owe it to our garden birds to offer super-clean and dust free seeds.

Here at Haith’s, we are proud to say that we have an audited quality control programme as can be seen from the following infographic:

Most propriety bird diets in the United Kingdom are not subject to screening or health-monitoring analysis other than visual, naked eye and manual checks for apparent quality and consistency. Haiths, however, under the supervision of professor John E Cooper FRCVS, FRCpath, has introduced a Quality Control (QC) programme for its diets, based on laboratory testing. This helps to ensure that Haiths products intended for wild birds do not pose significant health risks. The additional value and safety of Haiths diets – because they have been subject to a laboratory testing QC procedure – is part of our SUPERCLEAN™ seed preparation process. It is well-recognised that diets that are inadequate or unsatisfactory in quantity or quality, or both, may cause a bird to develop a deficiency or metabolic disease and compromise its welfare. Food items that are dusty or contain sharp or abrasive material may damage a bird’s respiratory or alimentary tract. In addition, diets can be a source of potentially pathogenic organisms, especially bacteria, yeast and protozoa, and toxins originating from fungi (e.g. mycotoxins) and other sources. We have an extensive range of bird seeds ranging from peanuts and sunflower seeds to our bestselling Huskfree Advance. All of which have been through our thorough cleaning process.

With our award-winning super-clean seed cleaning programme, we are aiming to raise the bar within the industry and help people to understand the importance of feeding clean seed.

5. What birds eat peanuts?

It’s actually sometimes easier to list the birds that don’t eat nuts. Small finches may be absent from feeders, though that isn’t to say small birds will stay away completely. Wrens and many tits will come for a nibble, as long as they can beat off competition from house sparrows, who are actually known to kick smaller birds off peanut feeders.

1. Are bird nuts safe for humans to eat?

Is there a reason why certain nuts are referred to as “bird nuts” and others are sold in small packs behind a bar at a pub? Basically, the distinction lies in the method used prior to packaging.

Standards for animal feeds’ handling, storage, and sanitation differ from those for goods intended for human consumption. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the standards are more slack. Furthermore, the aesthetic value of peanuts for birds is given less consideration, and naturally, there is no roasting or salting of the peanuts!

But even though we advise you to stick to your neighborhood supermarket for your peanuts, it’s unlikely that anything negative would occur if you did choose to eat with the sparrows and blue tits. Especially as bird nuts should always be aflatoxin tested.

The following infographic illustrates our audited quality control program, which we are proud to have at Haith’s:

With our highly acclaimed super-clean seed cleaning program, we hope to elevate the standard in the sector and educate people about the significance of feeding clean seed.

The majority of proprietary bird diets in the UK are only visually inspected, manually checked for apparent quality and consistency, and not subject to screening or health-monitoring analysis. However, Haiths has implemented a Quality Control (QC) program for its diets, based on laboratory testing, under the direction of professor John E. Cooper FRCVS, FRCpath. This makes it possible to guarantee that Haiths products meant for wild birds don’t present a serious health risk. Our SUPERCLEANTM seed preparation process includes the added value and safety of Haiths diets because they have undergone laboratory testing and quality control procedures. It is commonly known that diets that are insufficient or unsatisfactory in terms of quantity, quality, or both can lead to the development of deficiencies or metabolic diseases in birds, thereby jeopardizing their well-being. Dusty food items or those containing sharp or abrasive materials can harm a bird’s digestive system or respiratory system. Furthermore, foods may contain potentially harmful organisms, such as bacteria, yeast, and protozoa, as well as fungus-derived toxins (e.g., g. mycotoxins) and other sources. We offer a wide variety of bird seed options, including our best-selling Huskfree Advance, sunflower, and peanut varieties. All of which have been through our thorough cleaning process.

One of the earliest foods that humans and birds have ever eaten is white millet, but hulling the grain is necessary before it can be eaten by humans. The husks of the majority of bird seed millet remain intact, which is acceptable because some birds find enrichment in breaking open the tiny shell to access the millet within. Watch the rolling motion that birds use to crack open husks, like greenfinches. In a sense, you could eat bird food, but ours is for the birds, so you’d have to buy it from your neighborhood supermarket or health food store. When food is available, birds consume an amazing range of foods, and they share human preferences for foods like millet and sunflower seeds. But we owe it to our garden birds to provide incredibly clean, dust-free seeds.

The production facility and storage conditions are the primary distinctions between human grade seed and bird seed. Some customers ask, “If the birds can eat our seed, why is it not good enough for humans?” Human grade seed warehouses are typically inspected by the government and, understandably, adhere to very strict hygiene standards. We’ve long maintained that manufacturers of bird food should implement strict quality control, and Haith’s has raised the standard in this area with an award-winning program that is examined by a veterinary specialist.


Are wild bird peanuts safe for humans?

However, though we would suggest sticking to the local supermarket to get your peanuts, it is doubtful that anything bad would happen if you did decide to dine with the blue tits and sparrows. Especially as bird nuts should always be aflatoxin tested.

What’s the difference between peanuts for birds and peanuts for humans?

However, salted peanuts (including those salted in the shell) aren’t safe for birds, as birds can’t metabolize salt the way humans do. Roasted peanuts are problematic, since it’s hard to be sure how they were prepared and whether oils or salts were used in the process.

Why is bird seed not for human consumption?

Wild bird seed is kept in very unsanitary conditions; mice run over it and eat it and pee and poop in it, and as a result it often has salmonella in it. Salmonella can kill you. Parrot seed is perfectly safe, and is kept in food-grade conditions until packaging.

Are sunflower seeds for birds OK for humans?

Sunflower seeds are very versatile. They can be eaten or fed to the birds. Keep an eye on your sunflowers this fall, whether you want to harvest them for people food or bird food.