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Strawberries: How to Check for Bugs

Strawberries: Fresh

Fresh Strawberries

Fresh strawberries are frequently infested with insects. Must be checked.

Note: The level of infestation in the strawberry crop varies from time to time. Consequently, the method of checking varies as well. The procedures listed here are for a crop that has a high level of infestation.

How to check strawberries for bugs

Because of the texture of the strawberry, it is difficult to check. Therefore, infestation must be removed.

Follow these steps:

1. Cut off the leaf at the top with a small portion of the strawberry itself. Do not make a hole in the top of the strawberry.

2. Fill a pan with water and a soapy solution. The pan should be large enough to allow you to agitate the strawberries. The amount of the soapy solution should be enough to make the strawberries feel slippery and the water feel sudsy.

3. Place strawberries in the pan and let them soak for two to three minutes.

4. Take one or two strawberries at a time and agitate them in the water. This is done by placing them in your fist and shaking them up and down while your fist is under water. Shake each strawberry within the water. Do this with all the strawberries.

5. Spray again with a jet stream, making sure it touches every part of the strawberry.

6. Any strawberries that have holes or indentations should be cut after washing, and rinsed under a strong stream of water.

The berries can be eaten without additional inspection.

Strawberry Products (commercially made): Ice Cream, Yogurt, Jam, Candies, Drinks.

Many ice creams and yogurts, even if they are otherwise kosher, use strawberries that have not been sufficiently removed of infestation. These products should be avoided. Some ice creams and yogurts, on the other hand, are indeed careful in the use of strawberries, and will only use strawberries that are insect-free. These ice creams may be eaten (if the kashruth supervision is up to standard).

All jellies have no infestation issues, since they do not use actual pieces of strawberry.

Jams, however, do use pieces of strawberries, and could have infestation issues. One should avoid them.

Strawberries: Frozen

Frozen Strawberries

The fact that an item is frozen does not alleviate the necessity of checking it

Consequently, frozen strawberries must be checked in a manner similar to fresh ones. Bug-free frozen strawberries grown for the kosher market are now readily available.