We’re sure glad we haven’t eaten any dried fruit in the UK recently. In Cardiff, Wales, more than 50% of dates and figs sampled in a laboratory were found to contain beetles, larvae, and other insects,according to the BBC. And it gets worse; already 43 packets are available in markets and stores, and this problem could make its way to the rest of the UK.
So how come they didn’t catch this mistake earlier? Alastair Low, of Cardiff Scientific Sciences, told the BBC that “unless you cut the fruit open you are going to be oblivious to it” and “some of the larvae were the same colour as the fruit and not immediately visible.” The bugs first enter the fruit while it’s being dried because the food gives the bugs the nutrition to grow. Unfortunately they then are “trapped” and either die or continue to live inside the fruit.
There hasn’t been word on any recalls, but for now Low does recommend that the best way to check for bugs is to “cut the fruit in half and inspect it. If it is infected they should contact trading standards.”
We’ll be surprised if you still want to even consider opening the fruit and “inspecting” it. There’s no surprise like finding a beetle, let alone any bug, in your food.