Bought some pasta at Plaza West last night. Came home, cooked some, and the bugs all floated to the top as it boiled...
I called Plaza West, told them of the situation, and they offered the info that it would be pulled from the shelf. I returmed it tonight, and the pasta was still on the shelf! The bugs, now that I knew they were there, were crawling on the products next to the pasta as well.
I will be calling DLCA...how dare they think that they may still be able to sell it, and hope that someone thinks the bugs came from their own home and not realize it was Plaza! Seems like a total rip-off to me!
I made sure I used a meat sauce, ya know, something lumpy with dark specs in it, so I wouldn't know exactly what I was eating...and used a red sauce too!
However, when one considers the cost of rinsing the pasta so many times...it wasn't exactly a cheap meal anymore!
Yeppo, I was hungry...so I ate it! Ha!
I've had this exact same problem with pasta from P. East. The bugs are really funny looking ones, I called them "Pasta bugs" and had to dump the pasta outside so they wouldn't contaminate my kitchen. Unacceptable and it happens too often at Plaza...don't buy pasta there anymore because of that.
The point is, bugs are a part of our life...BUT, I don't expect to have bugs included when I buy dried goods...
Lettuce? yes. Onions? yes. Cilantro? yes. But, dried goods, no. But, it does happen. So, when Plaza offers to remove the goods from the shelf, and then they don't, they are banking on the 24 hour return policy, and then they'll keep the $10 for the product they sold with the bugs in the first place!
I went one night, later to avoid the kids crying..., and found MULTIPLE packages of thawed chicken 1 day expireed still for sale. That's just plain wrong. What do you think they do with expired meat? Do they just put a new wrapper on it with another few days, hoping that someone will buy it, and then throw it away because they thought their fridge wasn't working properly?
WEEVILS.... are very common in pasta products. Apparently they live on many grain products, but do not always hatch and become bugs. I think they are really icky, but they are common. I'm not surprised that Plaza did not remove the product from the shelves.
On stx at least, especially in Plaza, many grocery items only get restocked in Nov-Dec, after storm season and just before the snowbirds come, so things might be on the shelf for a year. There are many things, like rice mixes, pastas etc, that I will only buy in Jan-Feb, and even then I am reluctant if I'm not sure it really sells (originally used the word 'move', as in off the shelves, but our issue here is with food items that do move due to outside forces, so I changed my terminology...).
Then there was the day that a big rat went running from the bread aisle across and under the freezers...when I told the gal at the cust service desk that I'd seen a rat, she wanted to know if it was alive....was very alive...
One thing that does work with the bugs though, is to put the item, be it pasta, or rice, or flour, etc, in the freezer for 24 hours or so. It kills the bugs/larvae/eggs that might be in there, (and apparently they are commonly in there, just not usually given an opportunity to hang around long enough to hatch when sold in the states...).
That is now my new M.O.
FYI...I called DLCA to report the non-pulling of the item as I checked it out at 8ish pm, and the pasta was still on the shelf. The Weevils had expanded to ALL the dried goods in the vicinity, so there was much that needed to be pulled.
Get this: if the item was expired, DLCA would have taken care of it. But because it had bugs, they referred me to DOH. Lazy bunch of employees at DLCA...it didn't matter to them that Plaza was still trying to sell the product, they don't deal in bugs. In the acronym DLCA, what exactly does the "CA" stand for? I thought it was Consumer Affairs. DOH was great, but mentioned that "once again" DLCA didn't want to do their job...
I am in the states right now and was wondering if you think it would be worth it to buy some grains and stuff in bulk to bring down to stx? I was in whole foods (amazing :-)!!!) and am really tempted fill up a few airtight containers with whole wheat flour and other grains...do you think this would last on stx or become weevil/bug populated before I can eat it all?
I've been here 14 years, and I can count on less than one hand the times I have encountered bugs in any pasta or other grain. Admittedly, I am not a big cook, so I don't buy that sort of thing weekly, therefore cutting down my exposure. But the stores will gladly take it back. It can ruin a dinner if you find the bugs at 8:00 PM, the sauce is all ready and the guests are hungry, so good idea to check it over when you buy it then refrigerate it, and/or check it early in the day you plan to use it. THIS is one of those "island living things". You figure out how to adjust, and be grateful there is even pasta on the shelf. I don't want to sound flippant, but calling DLCA or DH may get a little action at the moment, but next time you shop at Plaza, don't think anything is going to be any different.
Juanita, I have to disagree.
I expect things to be different, but more importantly fair.
Consider the families on a tight budget: They buy in bulk, as it does save money most of the time. BUT, if you bought a box-o-pasta, in bulk, put it in the cupboard ( because milk, meats, and fresh veggies take the priority going into the fridge) and then find out,even if only 2 days later, that the product you bought is infested with bugs, but you can't return it 'cause Plaza has a 24 hour return policy, and all the other dried goods in your cupboard are now contaminated with weevils too...now the family is suddenly down $50 worth of groceries instead of the original $12 spent on the pasta.
Why shouldn't someone have an outlet to complain to? That is what DLCA is here for, let's empower ourselves and use it. Hell, we pay the salaries, let's get 'em to do some positive work...
I totally agree with you in theory. I'm just saying this is one of those things you have to figure out for yourself, find your own solution. Your local government is not here to be helpful. Without starting a political debate on a grocery store thread, historically the VI government's role has been to be an employer. I am a big deJongh fan, and I do believe if we keep him in office, followed by someone else of his intelligence and character, we will eventually begin to see an improvement in all departments of the government, but it's a big job, and I imagine policing grocery stores is low on the list. I'm not saying don't bother calling DLCA or the health department. By all means, do, but that poor family is going to continue to throw out $50 worth of groceries if they don't find a way to deal with it themselves.
Real solutions would include start buying in smaller quantities. It may be more expensive, but not if you have to throw it out.You can take advantage of bulk buying, without having so much on hand if you find someone to split with. Is it really that much less expensive to buy in bulk? We are a family of 2, and I don't cook much. I've had the same 2 lb bag of flour in the fridge for 2 years.
Shop somewhere with a longer return window. I have taken things back to Pueblo, Food Town and Cost-U-Less several days later.
Look it over as best you can at the store. Go through it well as soon as possible and store it appropriately. I've heard metal containers are better than plastic, and include a bay leaf. If possible store it away from other dry goods, just in case. I would suggest leaving room in the fridge. If you are stocked up with meats and veggies, they're probably going to go bad too. Food just doesn't last as long here, and not to mention....power outages. Someone mentioned having a separate fridge. That's not for everyone, but it's a good idea if it will work for you. Good luck, and happy shopping!
I had weevils in pasta once and they all floated to the top when I was cooking it--I was so hungry I was ready to just pick them out but decided against it. But are weevils safe to eat? They are just little bugs, its not like you'd be eating a centipede or a roach (gag)...do they carry disease or something that would hinder consumption?