The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating the presence of Iron Cross Blister Beetles in imported leafy vegetables. Consumer complaints have alerted the agency to this issue. No illnesses or injuries have been reported at this time.
The Iron Cross Blister beetle releases a chemical called “cantharidin” that can cause blisters on the skin. It has a bright red head and bright yellow markings on the wings, separated by a glass cross. This beetle should be treated with caution.
Public health officials are waring consumers to wash and carefully look over their leafy vegetables throughly before serving and eating them. The beetle should be removed without touching it or crushing it. If you do find one, contact your local CFIA office. The beetle was found in pre-packaged salads that consumers usually do not wash before eating.