Bugs found on shelves of local Publix store
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Sep. 12, 2013
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A Cape Coral woman said she bought groceries from the Publix on Santa Barbara and Veterans' Memorial Parkway and soon realized she brought home more than just groceries- she brought home bugs.
Sandra Hernandez said about a month ago, she began having a bug problem in her home.
"There would be some in the living room, in the dining room, some in the kitchen... they were everywhere," she said.
The problem took two weeks to get rid of. Then, last weekend, she said her husband brought home some groceries, including a box of Ronzoni lasagna.
"When I went to put away the groceries, I see all these bugs, exactly the ones I had had problems with just crawling out of those boxes everywhere," Hernandez said.
She described the bugs as small, black beetles. According to exterminator Paul Chappell, the beetles are likely saw-tooth grain beetles, which can be found in grain products such as cereal, rice, pasta and popcorn.
"It's very alarming to have these bugs come out of your cupboards and a lot of times I have people say 'well they're coming out of the walls getting into my food,' but actually they're coming out of the food and getting into the walls," Chappell said.
Hernandez said her husband took the product back to the store and spoke with a store employee who told him Publix officials were aware of the problem and had contacted the distributor.
Hernandez returned to the store Tuesday and captured video of bugs crawling on the shelves.
Fox Four sent the videos to Publix corporate office and Media and Community Relations Manager Brian West responded with the following statement:
"Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. This is the first time we were made aware of the issue. We provide high quality products for our customers, and this obviously does not meet our standards. We have pulled the product from the shelves, scheduled immediate service with our pest control provider and will work with our supplier for immediate resolution. Customers that have purchased the product may return it to the store for a full refund."
By this afternoon, the product had been removed. It is uncertain when the bugs got into the box, whether it happened at the manufacturer, distributor or the store.
Chappell said the key to keeping these bugs out of your home is to be proactive and follow these steps:
- inspect boxes for any signs of bugs
- do not buy in bulk
- remove grain products from original packaging and store in air-tight plastic containers or bags
- store grain products in the fridge to freeze any eggs that may be present in the product