Checking for bugs


#1

When buying vegetables and fruits, when do I have to check for bugs, what type of bugs am I looking for, and is there a difference between fresh and frozen?

(for eating whole and not blending )


#2

There’s a wealth of information available stating which fruits and/or vegetables commonly contain bugs. I like to buy the “Bodek” brand, as they’re very thorough.
If you can wait till after Pesach, hopefully one of the moderators can elaborate.


#3

Thank you, I can wait til after pesach? When you do get a chance to answer (after pesach) I’m also curious if there is a difference if its pre-packaged vegatables (e.g. romaine lettuce) that has been triple washed.

Thanks again for everything you and all the moderators do.


#4

Just wanted to follow up on this. Are we worried about bugs that we can’t see with the naked eye? How far do we have to go to check for bugs. Is a lightbox or
magnifying glass necessary?


#5

We are only worried about bugs that can be seen by the naked eye. If it can only been seen through a magnifying glass it’s ok.

That being said, it is easier to check in good light or with a light box.


#6

So just to clarify.

  1. If I would only be able to only see the bug with a light box, is that the type of bug that i don’t have to worry about? and if it’s not, than why am I checking with a light box or in good light?

  2. what about black dots that aren’t moving? do i have to assume those are bugs o can i assume those are dirt?


#7

If you can see it with a light box, then you can see it without too. It’s not always that easy to check stuff. The light box makes it a lot easier to check.

Do a test. Find a bug using a light box. Then try to see it without the light box. You will be able to see it.


#8

To be specific to your question. Any item like a black dot, moving or not, is a problem because it is visible to the naked eye. For example if you look at a dollar bill you will see a comma between the words debts and public (…for all debts, public and private) that comma is most certainly visible to the eye, yet very small. The magnifying glass or light box, will aid you in determining if its a bug or dirt. The only bugs you need not concern yourself with are those invisible to the naked eye. For example there are tiny Amoeba one celled organism found everywhere which are only visible under very strong magnification and the Torah does not prohibit breathing them in or the like.
that being said it depends on the type of vegetable. All leafy vegetables are problematic. If you see a black dot on a tomato or peach you don’t have to assume its a bug, although its always a good idea to wash them.
Additionally Romaine lettuce, for example, is generally easy to clean. If you keep each and every leaf under a strong stream of water and gently rub along the entire stalk you are not required per se to check each leaf as the washing described above is sufficient.
I hope this has helped shed some “light” on the topic