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#1 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a big bag of rice from Costco and when I went to get rice out I found a worm. I threw out the bag of rice.

Is there anything I can do to prevent this or treat it?

Part of me is wishing I had returned the bag of rice because a month or so ago my FIL said he had worms in his rice from Costco. He lives in VA and we live in NJ so it isn't like there was a bad batch of rice at one store.

Melissa- mom to a boy 9/06 and a new boy 11/10 and married to my best friend 7/02
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#2 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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In the store you will want to check the bags for any signs of small tears.

In the future, freeze the rice (pasta, flour, cereals, oats, pancake mix, any packaged shelf stable pantry items as well) for a few days to kill any bugs in it.
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#3 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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Oh that is just maddening isn't it?

I just cleaned out our pantry because the meal moths had gotten into it. There were these little maggot looking larvae things in the rice among other things. We live in the country and bugs abound out here, it's hard to keep ants and moths out of our food. Not to mention the mice. :

A friend of mine is giving me her old freezer so I can keep my dry goods safe from the little vermin. I think if you keep things in glass or plastic jars that will help keep things out. They go right through plastic or paper packages, as I found out the hard way. I've been freezing new bags of rice for at least 24 hours (like you do with flour to kill the weevils) just as an extra measure. I don't know if that helps, but I figure it can't hurt.

Btw, instead of throwing out all of my ruined rice, I'm picking out the ickies and making rice bags to heat up in the microwave for the cold nights ahead. Those rotten little worms aren't going to get the best of me...
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#4 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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Eeeesh! I know! My favorite time was pouring rice in the pan ,adding stock, and noticing the "floating rice" had head ends! Bleck. It was the last of the rice, too. It's so easy to bring home the mealy moth larvae- especially with bulk items. I agree with the "freeze it " advice. I've got a few bags of rice and flour in the freezer right now. (Also, look for webby looking areas in the bags that looks like they have a little static cling- dead giveaway of mealy moths)
Even though you threw away the bag- maybe you could still mention it to Costco. Perhaps they are already aware of a problem with that rice and, if others complained, they may be willing to give you a credit anyway. Worth a try...
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#5 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 01:57 AM
 
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When I was little if we got those mom just washed the rice many times until it's perfectly clean. It didn't taste any different. I do think the freezing first thing is preferred. You can leave them outside for the bird instead of dumping it into the garbage.

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#6 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 04:16 AM
 
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I've had this happen twice with my flour (not at Costco, though, at another store).

The third time I went, I got my bag of flour, and, at the check out, I asked the cashier if I could open it. I told her about the bugs from last time. I said that I would buy it - once opened, if there were no bugs. And, if there were bugs, they wouldn't sell it anyway.

She told me to go ahead.

So, now, this is what I do. I open the flour in the store and check. But, I only open the one I will buy - unless I find bugs, of course.

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#7 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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Can you really not eat rice if you found a worm in it? I mean, I understand the ick factor, but there are bugs in food, that's just the way it is. Does it ruin the rice, is it dangerous to eat? I probably would have plucked out the worm and made the rice.

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#8 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Can you really not eat rice if you found a worm in it? I mean, I understand the ick factor, but there are bugs in food, that's just the way it is. Does it ruin the rice, is it dangerous to eat? I probably would have plucked out the worm and made the rice.
It does not ruin the rice, it just ups the protein content of such rice! As you stated their are bugs in food, actually that a good thing as bugs tend to gravatate to good food, never will find them in conventionally grown lettcue, but find them within the leave of organic lettcue.

If one does freeze their rice, flour, etc, the bug is still there, it's just no longer alive. For flour I just sift before use, rice normally just gets cooked as is.
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#9 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 12:03 PM
 
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I need to get over my phobia of bugs.

I may never eat rice again.

4 kids under 10
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#10 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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I had bugs in my rice from Costco once too, but I didn't know if it was before or after I got it home. It had been opened at home, and then folded up with a clothespin. So now I store my rice in sealed glass jars. Nothings getting in there!

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#11 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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I need to get over my phobia of bugs.

I may never eat rice again.

Katherine mother to DS 8/03 and DD1 9/06 and DD2 6/10
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#12 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 07:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Can you really not eat rice if you found a worm in it? I mean, I understand the ick factor, but there are bugs in food, that's just the way it is. Does it ruin the rice, is it dangerous to eat? I probably would have plucked out the worm and made the rice.
Well, in the case of my flour, it wasn't one worm - but lots of tiny wiggling worms. They were alive, there were a lot of them, and they contaminated my whole pantry (I didn't open the flour until 2 weeks after I had purchased it, so I didn't know it was filled with bugs).

If it was just one worm - yea, I'd have plucked it out and not cared. After all, with flour, I bake - so all germs will die.

Rice is a different story for me as I'm into raw foods, and I "sprout" (though rice doesn't actually sprout) it as opposed to cooking.

So, now, I just open in the store. Just to be on the safe side!

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#13 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies.

It was just stored in the bag in the pantry. I should probably put it in sealed containers. I think I was more worried about a bug infestation than eating a few cooked worms.

I didn't know about the freezer trick though. It probably means I have been eating worm eggs my whole life

Melissa- mom to a boy 9/06 and a new boy 11/10 and married to my best friend 7/02
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#14 of 45 Old 10-26-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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we buy organic rice in bulk and we frequently have larvae in them. i know it seems gross, but i just skim off the floaters.. if it is really bad then i toss it. over the summer it is very hard to keep pantry moths out of our house. rice infestation seems to be the easiest to deal with - forget about flax meal or old boxes of cereal/crackers. yuck.
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#15 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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I don't know what kind of worms they were, but we get pantry moths occasionally out here, and their larvae get in the rice. Here's what I do: when I put the rice into the boiling water, I take a minute or two and skim out all the larvae because they (sorry, gross) float to the top of the boiling water. I get most of them, and I figure what's left is just extra protein.

I was told pantry moths and their larvae aren't dangerous. Don't know if it's true, but it hasn't hurt us yet. Anyway, it keeps me from throwing out food.

If it is pantry moths, btw, they can chew through plastic bags.
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#16 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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Can you really not eat rice if you found a worm in it? I mean, I understand the ick factor, but there are bugs in food, that's just the way it is. Does it ruin the rice, is it dangerous to eat? I probably would have plucked out the worm and made the rice.
My husband is pretty convinced that bugs/worms will be the food of the future. I don't know if I'm willing to step into that future just yet... but it's not going to make us sick to eat a few worms in our rice. Just a little psychologically painful...
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#17 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 03:18 AM
 
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i store all my dry goods in glass and metal, plastic and paper can be chewed through by bugs and thats no good.

freezing is good, but it doesnt keep the bugs from getting in, it just kills the ones that are there which can sometimes lead to mold from the bodies rotting :

i usually just put my rice in a glass jar and when i see a hatched bug i scoop it out, that way nothing stays in to be able to rot which is YUCK!

good luck, it can be traumatizing the first time you notice bugs in your food, but it really is not big deal!
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#18 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 03:33 AM
 
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To be honest, my dad worked in the food industry, & there's "allowable amounts" of contaminants in food; so many bugs/bug parts & so forth per ounce of cereal, etc. So even processed stuff is full of bug bits : With contaminated grains/pasta in the cupboard, small amounts of buggies are skimmed off & the rest of the family is none the wiser, large amounts become the base for home-cooked pet food.

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#19 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 06:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
I need to get over my phobia of bugs.

I may never eat rice again.

I hear you. I may never be able to eat *anything* again after reading this thread!
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#20 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 09:31 AM
 
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This may also make me glad for the first time that my climate is snow 6 months a year. It may help keep bugs dead in transit/storing/shipping.
It kills the spiders in my car at least
I'm going to lose a few pounds this week.

Seriously, I have to go for phobia treatment. It prevents me from gardening, which I would otherwise love to do. Just can't. handle. bugs.

4 kids under 10
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#21 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 09:44 AM
 
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When I was little if we got those mom just washed the rice many times until it's perfectly clean. It didn't taste any different. I do think the freezing first thing is preferred. You can leave them outside for the bird instead of dumping it into the garbage.
Please, please do not leave uncooked rice outside for birds. It will expand in their stomach, making it explode, and kill them. It's why you rarely see rice thrown at weddings nowadays - most people throw birdseed, if anything.
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#22 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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Oops, sorry for that suggestion. Actually I've never left rice for birds. My grandma would eat up any rice. When I was little we had chicken that would eat up the bugs.

Worms gross me out, too. I usually beg somebody else in the house to deal with them.

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#23 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 07:45 PM
 
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So how do you get rid of the meal moths and worms????!!!!!!
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#24 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 07:56 PM
 
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So how do you get rid of the meal moths and worms????!!!!!!
You dont' really get rid of them, you kill them by freezing.

Once dead you can get rid of them...

Rice - anything that floats is dead, skim off. Cook as normal
Flour - sift before using

There is a slight gross factor, but it's a fact of life that we all eat lots of bugs and bug parts pretty much on a daily basis.
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#25 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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Sure! I understand what you're saying about that one bag of rice/flour. I was just wondering if there is a way to prevent further infestation of your pantry? I hate pestisides but is there something like that or a natural way to completely get them out of your house once it's infested?? KWIM?
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#26 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 08:03 PM
 
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Sure! I understand what you're saying about that one bag of rice/flour. I was just wondering if there is a way to prevent further infestation of your pantry? I hate pestisides but is there something like that or a natural way to completely get them out of your house once it's infested?? KWIM?

In the store check for small tears in the bags of rice or flour. Freeze when you get home for a few days. Then keep stored in a glass container that won't allow anything to get into it. I keep mine in old canning jars on the shelf, nothing is getting in there.

If you do have an infestation, freeze everything/ toss and wipe down all sounters, shelves, jars, cans, etc.
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#27 of 45 Old 10-27-2008, 08:24 PM
 
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What we did when we had an infestation was:
  • throw out everything that was very badly infested - lots of larvae wiggling around etc. since I could not fathom eating them
  • put everything else in the freezer for 2 weeks
  • wipe all the counters, take everything out from the cupboards and clean thoroughly about 3-4 times
  • move everything into glass jars

We now buy a lot of rice, flour etc from an open market and we usually just put everything in the freezer first for a few days and then move it to glass jars. Nothing stays in cardboard boxes or paper bags; I'm not giving the bugs any more chances!
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#28 of 45 Old 04-12-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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Arghgh ... I know how worms in your rice feels. I've been having them from the last 3 batches of costco rice.

Here's what I do to clean the rice. I pour about half a cup of rice into a fine sieve and I shake it a bit. All the eggs and sometimes dead worms fall out. I then use a sieve with slightly bigger holes and repeat the same shaky process. I make sure the sieve is small enough to hold the rice but large enough for the worms to fall out. This usually takes care of most of the bugs.

I then put the rice over a white plate and scan over to make sure there's nothing in it. Before I cook, I soak the rice for about 10 min for any floatations.

The process may be exhausting but I'm sure there's no extra protein than necessary
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#29 of 45 Old 04-13-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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I have never had this problem before. I wonder how long until my luck runs out? :

ribbonpurple.gif  "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin
   
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#30 of 45 Old 04-13-2009, 01:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Knittin' in the Shade View Post
Please, please do not leave uncooked rice outside for birds. It will expand in their stomach, making it explode, and kill them. It's why you rarely see rice thrown at weddings nowadays - most people throw birdseed, if anything.
This is an urban legend, actually. Rice is perfectly safe for birds to eat:

http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/birdrice.asp

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