Canadian Food Inspection Agency investigates presence of Iron Cross Blister Beetles in packaged greens


by Rhonda Massad

On May 29, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) opened an investigation into the presence of Iron Cross Blister beetles (Tegroder spp.) in imported leafy vegetables following a recent consumer complaint.

According to CBC News in Saskatoon, a women found the beetle in a packaged spinach.  Another incident was reported in Ontario when a consumer found a similar insect in her package of mixed greens.

As reported in a recent release from CFIA there have been no confirmed illnesses or injuries associated with the consumption of these products.

“The Iron Cross Blister beetle is very distinctively coloured, with a bright red head and bright yellow markings on the wings, separated by a black cross.” the release states, “This particular beetle should be treated with caution as it may release an irritating chemical called cantharidin. This chemical may cause blisters at the point of contact.”

Consumers are being advised to wash and visually inspect their leafy vegetables thoroughly. The beetle should be removed without touching or crushing it. If found, please advise your local CFIA office.


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