Bug Alert: Look Before You Cook

A Crown Heights wife and mother was preparing dinner for her family when she noticed dozens of “little brown pieces” floating to the top of the pot, and her recently purchased package of couscous teeming with activity.

By Anash.org reporter

Although taking care of a family is never for the faint of heart, sometimes, even the bravest of women can be caught off guard by an unexpected horror.

A Crown Heights wife and mother was preparing dinner for her family, running on automatic pilot, when something unusual caught her eye. On closer inspection, she realized – her dinner was bubbling innocently, along with dozens of creepy crawlers!

“This is the craziest thing,” she shared with Anash.org. “I poured the couscous into the pot of boiling water as usual, when suddenly all these little brown pieces came floating to the top. Bugs! I’m absolutely horrified.”

While thankfully in this case the insects were noticed before being served, they could have very easily been missed. If the couscous had been thrown into the pot together with dark colored vegetables or spices, the bugs would have been completely camouflaged in the mix.

This package of couscous was manufactured and shipped in Israel and had been recently purchased at a local Crown Heights supermarket, but bug infestation can happen to any food in your pantry. Insects can get under the wrapper during production or storage and once they’re inside, they eat, grow and multiply. 

Pantry infestation is not as rare as we wish it would be, so be sure to always ‘Look Before You Cook!’ A quick glance is all that’s needed to prevent you and your family from some unwanted extra protein in your meal.

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  1. How did this come as a surprise? I thought I’m supposed to check couscous and any pasta before cooking— like rice, but easier. Is it that there are bugs that don’t appear until they surface from boiling? Please advise.

    1. Agree. Always check your grains and produce as a first step in your cooking. There also may be little stones. Rinse thoroughly even often a few times. With leafy vegetables, you need to soak them.

  2. Which store was it bought in? And when was the expiration date?
    I need not ask more.
    To all shoppers and consumers.
    For Starters:
    Always check expiration date and or harvest date on products. Including packaged fruits and veggies.
    Then at home check product.

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