Question:

Regarding the picture of the broccoli floret, that looks like a live caterpillar and fresh broccoli.
What are the chances of EVER finding a live caterpillar clinging to a floret from commercially-packaged frozen broccoli?
How would it survive?
And if not, what is the relevance of the picture?

And, while the illustration of frozen cauliflower does show a thrips, what is the case with something like kale? How likely would it be to find thrips in commercially frozen kale, after it has been commercially power-washed?

I am asking because I wonder whether it is somewhat misleading to use the most problematic vegetable (cauliflower) to illustrate that other vegetables are also problematic.

Answer:

The point of the picture is to illustrate that it is possible to find insects in vegetables. Regarding your next question that there seemingly are no chances of EVER finding infestation in packaged frozen broccoli. You are most welcome to argue with the author of the sefer we are quoting, but just bear in mind that he is known as one of the world’s experts regarding infestation and halacha. Additionally, he is quoting US government standards, reports by consumers and experiments, but if you wish to argue you can. You can’t powerwash broccholi, because it will turn into mush, and soaking it might not release the grip of the bugs. Even if the bug doesn’t survive and die they are still forbidden to eat unless they get chopped up, which is questionable if this happens when broccoli is commercially washed.

As far as Kale is concerned, the author states clearly, a few lines down that the amount of infestation depends on the makeup of the individual vegetable, and the type of insect. Again the illustration is there only to give the reader the understanding that it is indeed possible to have infestation in vegetables.

Best wishes

Tags: bugs infestation

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6 Responses to “re: https://dinonline.org/Bedikat/frozen-vegetables/”

  1. Thank you for your reply.
    Perhaps i was not clear.
    The topic of the article was frozen vegetables and the question at hand was the halachic requirement as regards to frozen vegetables, not fresh. Given that frozen vegetables undergo intensive power washing, I would think that the halachic issue is their halachic status AFTER power washing, not BEFORE power washing.

    I have no opinion on the matter, but I do know that other kashrus experts, like Rav Duvdevani and Rav Veitman, have submitted normally-problematic frozen vegetables (supermarket brand) to testing labs and determined that, due to the additional processing of the frozen product, the incidence of bugs is below the halachic requirement for further checking. They therefore allow its use in facilities under their hashgacha.

    I therefore wonder why the article does not take the power washing into account.

    • The article takes the bottom line into account. When checking frozen vegetable, are there of are aren’t there bugs, and if there are, how many are there. The article is really a copy from the sefer written by R’ Vaye shlit”a based on his findings and investigations.
      As stated, the picture is for illustration purposes only, in order to bring out the point that infestation in vegetables does occur, I don’t think it is there to prove the point regarding frozen vegetable, though I have not discussed this with R’ Vaye.
      The article is the opinion of the author, and it is possible that others disagree with him.

      • Does the article, in fact, tell us “how many there are” (per package, per crate, per kilo, per ton, etc) and evaluate that number according to halachic standards of statistical significance?

        • All I was saying was that EVEN if the picture is of a fresh vegetable, (which is questionable when the picture is enlarged) it is only for illustrative purposes. If you would like to take this issue further I suggest you call the author and speak to him in person at 972-2-523-5588.

  2. I forgot to add the following:
    Perhaps I was not clear.
    I never said “that there seemingly are no chances of EVER finding infestation in packaged frozen broccoli.”
    I asked two questions:
    1) What were the chances of finding live caterpillars in FROZEN broccoli?
    2) How likely would it be to find thrips in commercially FROZEN kale, after it has been commercially power-washed?

    I was not saying that there is NO chance (I have no idea), but what is the statistical likelihood.
    Given that the relevant halacha, as far as I know, is about statistical likelihood and not one of zero tolerance, I would appreciate your addressing the statistical likelihood issue, rather than the zero tolerance one, which, as far as I know, is not the halachic standard.

    • I hear what you are saying.
      1. I don’t know the chances of finding a live one, I assume it is nill, but dead ones might be there
      2. You have to check that up on it’s own

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