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Old 10-26-2006, 11:05 PM   #1
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Pests in fresh dates

Hello, this is my first post. I'm looking for someone that knows something about dates. I love fresh dates and have been buying packages of Algerian dates (I'm from Canada). I eat them one by one and spit out the pits.

The other day I decided to pit them. When I sliced one open there was what appeared to be a dead worm/caterpillar, as well as some eggs around the pit. I was willing to let it go as a freak accident, but the next time I pitted some from the same package I found two dates with worms in them. I shudder when I think about all the dates I've eaten without checking inside.

My question is: is this a common thing with dates?

Thanks

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Old 10-27-2006, 12:30 AM   #2
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oh dear! I've not seen those in dates, but then again....!
Have you called the company? I'd really do that first and foremost, and then speak to the manager where you purchased your dates.

Do you ever see fresh dates sold in bulk at your local farmer's market by chance, or is that not a Canadian thing?
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:02 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I will have to open the second package that I have. If that one has worms then I will likely inform the manager of the store (it is a large supermarket chain).
I don't think we can grow them in Canada. Usually at bulk stores they sell dried dates, but the fresh ones are packaged and imported.
The label on the package revealed little information about who imports them and who produces them. Perhaps an internet search will yield a result.
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Old 10-27-2006, 09:55 PM   #4
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One of my Dad's favorite jokes was, "What's the only thing worse than biting into an apple and finding a worm? Biting into an apple and finding half a worm!"

You should (a) put the package and any remaining dates in something secure like a ziplock bag, (b) inform the manager of the store where you purchased them. This may, or may not, be something that will have to be reported to the government for further inspection and possible import restrictions - the store manager should know what to do.

It could turn out that the worms, and their larva, that infest dates are not a threat to Canadian crops and therefore all you need to do is just make sure you pit and inspect them before you eat them.
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. You are right about taking them to the manager, and also about them being an ecological threat. The worms are quite dead, and I suspect the larvae (since they didn't hatch) are probably dead too. That is the rationale I am using to not feel guilty about throwing the bad dates in the garbage. I have another pack, and will cut each one open until I find another one to take to the store.

Thanks
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Old 10-28-2006, 12:03 AM   #6
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Oh, I almost forgot: For anyone else out there buying dates, the brand I am buying is Duna. They are made by Bis-Co-Fruits in Biskra, Algeria. I have not been able to find any info on them on the internet. Also, there is no information on which company imports them into Canada.
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Old 10-29-2006, 04:13 PM   #7
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Dates are the fruit of the date palm. The dates you buy in your local market have been cooked and "sugared". Date palms grow in poor soil in sub-tropical and tropical climates.

One of the insects which attacks the date palm is a weevil, which lays its eggs in crevices and cracks of the palm.Perhaps it was a weevil that you ate.

If there are several "wormy dates", I'd take them back to the shop where you bought them and claim a refund.
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:30 AM   #8
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It's important to inform the shop.
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