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Consumer Kashrut Alerts

The following insect infestation information is from Hakhel.info on August 1, 2014 with additional information posted on August 8, 2014.

"BLUEBERRIES: The KCL (Kashrus Council of Lakewood) recently concluded a thorough testing of blueberries in local grocery stores. 100% of the containers contained scale insects. Between 10% and 20% of the berries had scales on them. We are advised that this number is consistent with weekly agricultural blueberry reports issued be Rutgers University. One of the Bodkim reported that 50% of the scales are males, which contain a whole insect. A Bedikas Tolaim expert advised us that based on these findings, he would not recommend buying blueberries--as the scale insects cannot be readily washed off. In his words: 'If you want to check them, be very careful and very thorough. If you think that you found and removed the infested ones then soak the remaining ones in soap and rinse very thoroughly.'"

Policy on blueberries from the Chicage Rabbinical Council, the Star-K and the OU:

  • CRC Policy on Blueberries:
    "Blueberries – Fresh must be rinsed in water and a cursory inspection is needed. All frozen without any added kosher sensitive ingredients is acceptable. Canned needs a reliable hashgacha."
  • Star-K policy on blueberries
    Checking Instructions (Please note the following regarding all Star-K insect checking instructions: When applicable, guidelines apply to produce grown and purchased in the United States. Checking procedures in other countries may be different.)
    Fresh Blueberries: Check berries for foam. Remove all berries with foam. Wash remaining berries. If there is no foam no further checking is necessary. Washing is recommended.
    Frozen: Does not require a hechsher.
  • OU Guide for checking produce
    Video Guide to Home Vegetable Inspection: Berries
    Blueberries: white maggots;
    • Cultivated blueberries: generally insect free
      Cultivated: place in a strainer or colander and wash thoroughly under running water
    • Wild: insects on surfact or in center of berry; cut open and carefully examine on white cloth after washing
The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A4646

The information posted is from secondary sources. We cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of the information.

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