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Dead insects in packaged food

Image 1 - Dead insects in packaged food

Occasionally, you may find dead insects in your food, such as grain, jam or other canned goods.

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How insects end up in food

Image 2 - Dead insects in packaged food

Insects can end up in food at any part of the food distribution chain. This includes the harvest site, manufacturer, retailer or even at your home.

This mostly occurs in stored food that has been opened, but insects can get into unopened paper, thin cardboard, and plastic, foil or cellophane wrapped packages.

Some of the common insects that you may find include types of moths, beetles or weevils.

Common signs of infestation

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Product safety

Finding dead insects in stored food may be unappealing, but it does not pose a health risk.

Although it is uncommon, fresh produce may harbor pests that pose a threat to consumers. See our Safety measures when finding spiders, scorpions, or blister beetles in fresh produce for more information.

What to do if you find dead insects in food

If you find dead insects, you should report it to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). In some situations, the CFIA may conduct follow-up activities.

You may also throw away the contaminated food or return it to the store where you purchased it.

Thoroughly clean the cupboards and surfaces where the food was stored by using a vacuum cleaner to clean cabinets and shelves. Empty the vacuum cleaner after use and wash or disinfect all surfaces.

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