Be Sure to Wash the Strawberries and Other Fruits You Have Bought Before Consuming Them

FACT: Everybody loves to eat fresh strawberries!

A sweet, ripe strawberry is irresistible to anyone. People never hesitate to buy strawberries for snacks or order them in restaurants to have a delicious dessert after a hearty meal. In supermarkets, we can find many of them packed in the fresh produce section, which we can buy in bulk.

However, have you washed the strawberries before consuming them?

Most of us enjoy a fruit taste test inside a grocery or a farmer’s public market so we would know if the fruits we were purchasing in bulk would be fresh or if they taste good. Other shoppers would grab them packed and place them inside the fridge when they get home, assuming the store has already washed them. Usually, strawberries are sold in pressure-sealed packages. When on display, they look tempting to eat right away.

However, this Twitter video might make you hesitant to eat a single strawberry straight from its packaging.

The video has been circulating on various social media sites for some time now, and consumers have been sending different reactions to the comments section out of curiosity if the video was real.

In other videos, people have been soaking the strawberries (and other fruits and vegetables) in water with salt. What did they discover after a few minutes? There were bugs and other small insects in the strawberries!

Some people assumed they “came out” of the strawberries, while others claimed they saw the bugs crawling on the surface of the fruits, visible to the naked eye. These assumptions went viral on various social media sites, and curious people decided to try it out for themselves.

However, no theories have been proven on what these bugs are.

Consumers were quick to give suggestions on what they were. Some say they were strawberry mites (or two-spotted spider mites). Others said they were pharaoh ants. Other people claimed the bugs were spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), a member of the “small fruit fly” or “vinegar fly” genus.

Whatever they are, consumers are still alarmed when they see them emerge from their strawberries after soaking. If you want your fruits thoroughly “bug-free”, try the different methods consumers use to clean them.


Fill a bowl with water, add salt, then soak the strawberries before rinsing them. Some people soak them for 5 minutes, while others leave them for about 30 minutes. Some social media users preferred to use warm water and demonstrated them on videos, while some added one-part white vinegar to four parts of water. The results surprised many people, but experts proved it was no surprise at all.

Experts claim bugs are very common in most fresh produce we eat. After all, they are planted and harvested in gardens mostly infested with these critters. When we buy strawberries and other fresh fruits and vegetables, these bugs may still be on them after packing. The mere fact that we already have ingested several of these bugs in our entire lives begs us this question: Are they harmful to our bodies?

No evidence has been proven that ingesting these critters would do any harm to our bodies. Additionally, there were no reports of people getting sick or hospitalized due to accidental intake of food infested with these bugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) limits the number of bugs our food contains, including canned goods.

If this information gives you doubts about your purchased fresh fruits and vegetables, just go ahead and wash them.

It is standard procedure to wash your food before preparing it for cooking or storing it in the fridge. If you fail to do this simple preparation, it’s on you. NEVER forget to wash fresh produce before eating or cooking them. It does not matter if you bought them packed already. When you get home, wash them after removing them from the packaging. Be safe than sorry.

Watch the video below to see how these critters emerge after soaking the strawberries with water and salt:

Images credits: © Unsplash: Maksim Shutov, Oliver Hale, and Heather Barnes; Mashed/YouTube screenshots

Twitter video credits: © QENNY the Certified Boogeyman @AKBrews

Video credits: © Mashed/YouTube

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About the Author: Ria P. Jacinto

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