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Consumer Kashrut Alerts

Insect Infestation alert - Blueberries - update

April 30, 2021 from the cRc:

In recent weeks we have seen a significant increase in insect infestation of blueberries. Accordingly, we recommend that the following procedure be done to all fresh blueberries until October 31, 2021.

An exception to this is organic blueberries which should be washed and checked using the thrip-cloth method. Additionally, U-pick blueberries should be avoided as they are often infested with scale insects and other bugs. One should only use them if they were first checked for scales and other insects using a thrip cloth. Instructions for the thrip-cloth method can be found here.

November 16, 2020 from the cRc Twitter feed:

Infestation has subsided & a soapy water wash isn't needed anymore - just rinse well in water. This updated policy should not be relied upon past 4/1/2021. For ORGANIC blueberries, use the thrip-cloth method.

June 15, 2020 from the cRc:

At the beginning of May, we issued an alert about a seasonal increase in infestation in blueberries, and we are happy to inform the public that the infestation has somewhat subsided. That said, we continue to recommend that the following procedure be done to all blueberries until September 1st:

Prepare a quart-sized bowl of soapy water per pint of blueberries, soak and agitate the blueberries in the soapy water for 20-30 seconds, and then rinse the blueberries in running water. This procedure is effective for all brands including those which were previously singled out as being more heavily infested.

Two exceptions to this are organic blueberries, and blueberries which consumers pick by themselves from farms (“u-pick”). These should be washed and checked using the thrip-cloth method, available on our website here. When checking with the thrip-cloth method, be alert for worms (that resemble maggots) and other insects. If insects are found in a batch of blueberries even after they have been washed/checked three times, the berries should be discarded.

May 5, 2020 from the cRc

In recent weeks we have seen a significant increase in insect infestation of blueberries. After experimenting with different cleaning methods, we recommend that the following procedure be done to all blueberries until June 15th. [It is hoped that by mid-June the infestation will have passed, and we can return to our traditional recommendation for blueberries.]

The above procedure is effective for many brands. However, the following brands of blueberries sold in the Chicago area were particularly infested: Sunbelle (from Florida only), Driscoll’s (from Mexico), North Bay (from Florida only), and Paradise (from Mexico). The infestation of these brands was so bad that they will not be insect-free if washed using the above method, and should instead be cleaned either by (a) performing the aforementioned method three separate times, or by (b) using the thrip-cloth method, available at http://www.crcweb.org/vegetablepolicyoverview.php

Insect Infestation alert - Somerfield Farms blueberries

August 16, 2019 from the CRC:

The cRc has been conducting extensive research on the infestation of blueberries and has been finding a very high rate of infestation in non-organic Somerfield Farms blueberries. These blueberries are being sold at some of the local Chicago supermarkets and should be avoided at this time.

Insect Infestation alert - Organic Blueberries

August 12, 2019 from the CRC:

While regular blueberries fresh must be rinsed well in water and a cursory inspection for maggots is needed, organic blueberries have been found to be very infested and the cRc recommends that they should be avoided altogether. U-pick farms are using less pesticides than commercially sold berries. Therefore, the cRc recommends that berries from a U-pick farm should be soaked and agitated vigorously in a solution of water with soap or veggie wash before use. Additionally one should cut open a handful of blueberries to check if there are any worms present.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/Alerts/?alert=A6913

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

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