Fresh Raisin Bran Crunch=Cocoons and Moths!
Might want to check your Raisin Bran Crunch folks.
The box is only a couple of days old and to get the last of it out I slid the bag out. Surprise! Moths and Cocoons all stuck to the inside of the bag!
Purchased from Plaza East but I think it had to be from the packaging plant not them as the bugs were inside and outside the bags. One moth was still alive!
I do have to say the first 90% sure was tasty though!
This happens often. Here's why...
Grocery stores in the US and wholesalers operate on thin margins and their accounting is complex. A store or chain will have a contract to buy x units of, say, cereal. They will rotate their stock and unsold merchandise nearing it's expiration date will return to t he wholesaler under a buy-back agreement. It is then resold to smaller stores at a discount.
Plaza, wherever possible, buys these returned items so long as there is enough time remaining before expiration to allow for shipping and stocking. These items will usually be fresh enough, having sat by the case in a stockroom or warehouse somewhere. But bugs are bugs and nature is persistent.
That's why so many of the items we buy here are nearing their expiration date whereas the same items in a stateside grocery will be fresher by months or often years.
On St Thomas, Food Center is famous for having old stuff. They place price stickers over the "sell by" date on produce. Yesterday, I saw a bottle of cocktail sauce with a "Special Today!" sticker on it. Its "sell by" date was Friday. Where do you ever see old canned goods? Only in the VI.;)
If it was on the inside of the sealed bag the most likely scenario seems to me that it happened in your house. It could, as you stated, have come from the plant, but honestly, having worked in the food business many years ago, I find that to be less likely then a Moth got in while in your kitchen and did this deed.
I failed to mention the box was in the fridge from purchase and was only open 3 days. Larva Silked to the side of the inside bag had to be from the plant. Maybe larva were in the grain and made it to the packaging side with out being cooked. Then took a ride munched away and some cocooned them selves to the side and some made it to moth stage.
Exactly, F&B. Obviously the critters lived inside the box through a complete life cycle. The genesis of your little habitat occurred long before you bought it; probably before the package made it to the islands. Manufacturers are careful to avoid contamination, far moreso than wholesalers and retailers. Almost certainly the box was contaminated while sitting in a warehouse or container somewhere in its lengthy journey here.
I found this in a google search. Apparently not a new problem and not really the fault of our local retailers. The bugs were probably in the raisins or bran. Bugs, weevils, etc are often found in wheat products, especially here where the warmth gives them a chance to complete their life cicle...I am checking my RB as we speak...ugh
I have done a little research on selling expired food in the VI. The FDA does not regulate the sale of expired food, they leave it up to the states to mandate law. The VI does in fact mandate that food past their use-by or expiration date are not to be sold. There is a penalty for doing so, but the grocery stores have the DLCA inspectors on "their side". Meaning, stores pay-off the inspectors so they can sell the food.
Stop by Plaza West. Go through the door behind the delicase, and see for yourself. They cook the expired food and sell it through the deli.
Get some smelly chicken from Plaza? Well, they take the chicken & soak it in vinegar-water to get rid of the slime & smell, then put it back out for sale. Look for packages of chicken that have a slightly whitish color to them, and AVOID them.
They wash the beef beginning to smell, then sell it for burgers.
See frozen lamb in the case? The use by label is new to the old package.
saucey: When I had issues with Food Center I first spoke to the manager who shrugged his shoulders. Then I told him I was going to call DLCA. He said he didn't care, all they did was fine him a small amount. I called DLCA and they were very interested. The next time or two when I went in, they had stopped the practice of putting price tags over expired sell by dates. But every once in awhile, they are at it again.
I think I will organize an "Occupy Food Center" protest.
We are the 99% who have to eat!
Down with grocery greed!!
Hmm, I think I'll start working on my posters... I wonder if they have any poster board at Food Center?
A couple of weeks before the original posting I bought a bag of Purina dry cat food at Plaza East. I opened the bag a day or two later and found what looked like strings of spider web silk and small moth type critters crawling around inside the bag. I figured it was a fluke and never thought twice about it.
Last week I bought a bag of Alley Cat dry cat food also at Plaza East. I chose the bag that had the farthest "best if used by" date. The bag was in good condition. No tears or visible openings. I opened it two days ago and guess what? Spider web type silk and moth like critters in the bag.
We buy very little boxed or bagged food items, and mostly from Food Town, simply because they are so pleasant about taking it back. LOL
I picked up a package of grits the other day and then just put it back. I KNOW it would have been buggy, so why bother. We buy our dry pet food at the pet supply store, and we get Chicken Soup brand, which comes in a bag, but it's like a heavy plastic. No problems.