Traumatised woman's warning after she finds insects in broccoli
Caryn Burwood, a resident of Maine, U.S. recently found insects in broccoli she purchased from a local grocery shop. Read on to know what happened next.
Broccoli is a vegetable all mums encourage their little ones to eat. After all, it’s packed with essential nutrients that are good for your kids. But broccoli might also be home to other things that are not so good for your family. One horrified woman recently discovered tiny insects in broccoli she was going to cook!
Microscopic insects in broccoli…
Caryn Burwood shares her horror on Facebook: “I bought this broccoli at the JFK Waterville, Maine Hannaford’s store on Tuesday. When I went to use it on Wednesday night, I was cutting it up and checking it over (like I always do, because I am terrified of broccoli worms… ) and upon very close inspection, I could see that it was totally infested with aphids!”
She added that at first she thought “they were just the little tips of the florets.”
“But when I looked at the specks up close, I could see that they were grayish greenish bugs — hundreds of them, if not thousands!” she wrote.
“I have seen the same thing with kale, although not to this extent,” Burwood further added.
She then warned everybody reading the post. “Regardless of where you buy it… CHECK YOUR BROCCOLI, PEOPLE!”
Burwood’s post has been shared over 53,000 times. It has garnered a lot of attention from parents, many of whom love adding this vegetable in their kids’ daily meals.
Unfortunately, a small amount of aphids (that Burwood found in her broccoli) is permitted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in the U.S.A.
Food and drug authorities don’t mind insects in broccoli?
The apex authority responsible for overseeing public health reportedly allows a certain degree of insects such as worms and aphids in vegetables. They do so as long as they do not compromise “the aesthetic quality of the food.”
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on the other hand has strict rules when it comes to bugs and insects in food.
The agency states, “The presence of any of the larger species such as the cabbage worm, corn ear worm or cabbage looper constitutes damage. On the other hand, the smaller insects such as aphids, plant lice or flea beetles have to be present in substantial numbers and be rather obvious to be considered as materially or seriously affecting the appearance.”
So that means, for instance, 10 aphids on a cabbage head is still graded number 1 quality by CFIA. Live worms in food can cause a grade 2 rating.
What do Singapore authorities say about food infestation?
As for Singapore, the apex authority that overlooks the purity of food is the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.
They flag infested food items and have time and again warned people about what food to avoid.
Taking note of the number of cases of insects in broccoli and even food powders, the agency has listed five types of infestation to watch out for.
5 types of infestations you must watch out for!
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore lists five types of infestation in food that you should watch out for.
1. E. Coli
“Coli is a microbe that causes food poisoning. It is normally found in the guts of animals and humans. One type which can cause serious illness is the Verocytotoxin producing E. coli O157 which has been found in raw and undercooked meat, unpasteurised milk and dairy products, raw vegetables and unpasteurised apple juice,” the agency warns.
The agency advises that one must make sure that “insects, birds and rodents are kept out of the kitchen, and throw away any food they come into contact with.”
They suggest that in order to control wasps and flies, you can “hang an insecticidal strip, but do not use aerosol sprays in the kitchen.”
“If you have an infestation of cockroaches, ants or other insects, you might need to seek professional advice from a commercial pest control agency,” they note.
Raw food including meat and poultry, might contain bacteria which can cause food poisoning.
“To prevent this, store them well covered, on the bottom shelf of the fridge or freezer so they cannot drip onto other food. This will prevent cross-contamination,” the agency notes.
Raw food such as meat, poultry and even seafood, may also contain micro-organisms. Even these can cause food poisoning.
To avoid cross-contamination, the agency advises that one must “store these food away from other food, especially cooked and ready-to-eat food.
“These include salads, fruits, cooked meat, cheese, oven bread as well as sandwiches.
“Keep them well-covered, on the bottom shelf of the fridge or freezer so they the juices from these raw food cannot drip onto other food,” they suggest.
5. Rotten UHT milk
Last but not the least is Ultra Heat Treated (UHT) milk. You must store this at room temperature until it nears its expiry date. “However once it is opened, it should be kept chilled and consumed within a week,” the agency notes.
So the next time you buy groceries, make sure to keep a close eye on these types of food. And watch out for bugs in your greens!