3 More Toxic Salad Beetles Show Up In Canada And Texas

Image courtesy of Maybe save this post until you're done eating your salad.

Maybe save this post until you're done eating your salad.

Maybe save this post until you’re done eating your salad.

It turns out that fleeing to Canada won’t keep you safe from the Salad Beetle Scourge. You may remember the Iron Cross Blister Beetles turning up in organic salads and packages of leafy greens across the United States. We learned today of three more discovered in different parts of North America, two of which were in Canada.

HERE IS YOUR WARNING THAT THERE’S A PICTURE OF ONE OF THE BEETLES BELOW

In Canada, two beetles found in greens this week made the news: Erin found our site while researching the creature she found in her salad greens and sent us this picture:

saladbeet

She also appeared on TV news this morning to talk about her find.

Maybe the experience wasn’t as novel as the CBC thought, though: just a few hours later, another CBC story appeared out of the province of Saskatchewan, featuring another woman who found the same type of beetle in her salad: this one from Earthbound Organics. The company told the CBC in a statement that it had never encountered the Iron Cross blister beetle in its farms before, and that it would stop using greens from that particular supplier and investigate the situation. They offered the woman $30, which she declined, and then $250, which she also declined. “I don’t know how long it will be until I can eat packaged food like this again,” she said about the offers.

While Earthbound Farms may be correct that they’ve never encountered the insect on their farms before, one of the original four salad beetle reports was about an Earthbound Organics product. A similar beetle was found in one two weeks ago. The company responded by sending a form letter about the beneficial insects used in organic farming. The blister beetle, you may have guessed, is not supposed to be one of them.

Melissa encountered one of the critters in a restaurant. She lives in Texas, which is a within the beetle’s native habitat, but they’re not supposed to live in restaurants. She didn’t get a picture, but described the scene instead:

It was the scariest creature I have ever seen! As I realized it was a beetle, I came into a state of shock and even feeling my blood pressure rise a little, I did not think about taking a photo of it or my salad. 😦 Once I realized I needed a photo so people could believe me, the waitress had already thrown it in the trash.

Reminder: if you find a large black, yellow, and red beetle in your food, contact the Food and Drug Adminstration (or equivalent agency where you live) and let them know. Also contact the packager of the product as well as the retailer if those are separate companies.