Feeding ANY grain eating insect (live, canned, freeze dried, etc.) runs a risk, because grains (nuts, dairy, etc.) can
grow types of Aspergillus mold (all of which produce Aflatoxin). When the insect eats the Aflatoxin it binds to their DNA, so it will ALWAYS be in their system, though it cannot be passed down to future generations because Aflatoxin has no DNA of it's own - it only disrupts DNA.
This means that if the insect you are feeding has eaten anything containing Aflatoxin it will
pass those Aflatoxins on to your glider. So if the company did not change out the bedding appropriately or left moist food in the substrate too long, there is a chance that insect has come in contact with Aflatoxin. BUT corn is the riskiest grain (as far as growing Aspergillus) so crickets raised on/with corn are at a much greater risk than the average mealworm or waxworm.
Freezing, freeze-drying, cooking - there is NOTHING that can rid an insect of Aflatoxin once it is in it's system, so as I said, all of us who feed ANY type of grain fed insect run a risk and there have been people who have lost their gliders to Aflatoxin poisoned mealworms.
Please understand, that does not mean that I am saying no one should feed grain fed insects. I do, I even feed crickets on occasion. I am just trying to help people make an educated decision, including knowing all of the risks.
say that all of the mealworm/Aflatoxin incidents that I am (personally) aware of, the mealworms were homegrown, not from a large wholesaler or involving the canned/freeze-dried worms. (But that doesn't mean it will never happen, either).
Edit: Oh, no - Aspergillus will not grow on the freeze dried mealworms, though if kept for long periods, they could still go bad. It is also important to note that not all mold is Aspergillus (thus Aflatoxin producing). But if you ever find mold in something, you should still throw it out completely as all mold can be damaging to a glider's health.
If you do see mold growing, like in a mealworm farm, do not try to just pick out the part that is molded, but pitch whatever is in the entire
container, because the mold spores are throughout, whether you see them or not, and you are running a much greater risk of harming your gliders. (Ok, lesson over