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TikTok videos show how to remove worms from strawberries with salt

US Food and Drug Administration allows certain number of bugs in fruit

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Thursday 21 May 2020 10:11 BST
TikTok videos show how to remove bugs from strawberries (Stock)
TikTok videos show how to remove bugs from strawberries (Stock)

A viral TikTok trend that shows how to draw out worms that live in strawberries has left viewers horrified.

This week, multiple TikTok users have shared videos to the social media platform explaining that submerging store-bought strawberries in salt water for a few minutes removes bugs from the fruit.

“Apparently if you wash your strawberries in water and salt, all the bugs will come out,” TikTok user Seleste Radcliffe said in a video showing her trying the method, which has been liked more than 83,000 times. “And little critters will come out.”

“Look at that, look at that!” she continued, zooming in on a small bug.

Other users who have tried the cleaning tip have also shared their surprise and disgust at finding the bugs crawl out of the fruit.



♬ original sound - babyadrianne

“I don’t think I will eat berries ever again,” one person commented.

Another said: “Strawberries used to be my favourite until now.”

However, according to the Cloud Mountain Farm Centre, the small worms, which are “most likely the larvae of Spotted Wing Drosophila, a non-native fruit fly that lays its eggs” in ripening berries are found in various different fruits - not just strawberries.

Fortunately, the worms are not harmful if ingested, which is why the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually allows foods to have a certain amount of bugs.

"It is economically impractical to grow, harvest, or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects," the FDA explains on its website, with defects referring to rodent hairs, insect fragments, mould, whole insects, and larvae.

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