Bulk products and food moths

dans la bio 03 December 2020
Le vrac

Buying in bulk means buying food without packaging in order to reduce waste but also food wastage. Buying in bulk allows you to buy just the right amount you need. And at the same time, buying in bulk saves you money. Bulk food is good for everything. However, it can have one major drawback: it can be attacked by food moths.

How to avoid food moths ?

Food moths, also known as mealworms, come from a small brown/grey moth called the Mediterranean flour moth. Although these insects are more present and visible in summer, they can act all year round. Of course, there are more risks with organic foods that do not contain pesticides. That is why this can happen in bulk shops as well as in pre-packaged organic food. Nevertheless, rest assured, there is nothing to worry about, as these little white grubs are not only edible but are very much appreciated by insect consumers. However, if you’re not an insect lover, here are some tips on how to avoid food moths.

Use the freezer

When making bulk purchases, get in the habit of storing them for a few hours in the freezer as soon as you return home. Indeed, moths are cold-sensitive creatures. Above all, eggs only develop from 20 degrees. Cold therefore prevents the development of food moths.

Wash on a regular basis

Next, systematically wash your jars between uses. You may not see them, but food moth eggs can get caught in the crumbs of the food previously stored in the jar. This is why it is essential to wash the jars with soap and water between uses. You can also use the dishwasher, if you have one, to benefit from the high washing temperatures.

Opt for airtight jars

Once you get home with your bulk purchases, the best way to store them is in airtight jars. Whether they have metal or glass lids with gaskets, it is essential that they are always hermetically sealed. This is to prevent moths from sneaking in. Moreover, if you buy flour or rice in bags, for example, remember to transfer it into an airtight jar as well and take care not to leave the bag open.

How to get rid of food moths

Lastly, if you discover food moths in your food, it is important to react very quickly to prevent them from spreading and establishing themselves permanently. If this happens, it will be much harder to get rid of them. Be aware that the eggs cannot be seen with the naked eye, but the white larvae are clearly visible. You can also detect food moths by the white threads they leave behind in containers. This is a sign that the jar is infected. In this case, there is only one solution: throw everything away and carefully clean the infected container(s). If this happens, also remember to carefully inspect any other jars. However, don’t worry – if you follow the advice above, this won’t be a problem !