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Dates infested with beetles found in UK

Scientists have found beetles and larvae in a sample of Welsh dates and figs

Dates infested with beetles found in UK
Beetles have been found in a sample of Welsh dates

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Live and dead beetles have been found in figs and dates on sale in Wales.

Food testers found 60 per cent of dates and 75 per cent of figs sampled in the capital city Cardiff were infested with the insects, or had traces of larvae or insect excrement.

The sample was made up of 43 packets of dried fruit from shops and markets, which equated to 3,500 individual fruits.

Alistair Low, of Cardiff Scientific Services, told BBC Wales's X-Ray programme that the larvae are not immediately detectable as some of them are the same colour as the fruit.

When some of the fruit was cut open, five live beetles were found inside.

Low said although the sample size was small he is concerned the infestation could be a problem across Wales.

He advised consumers to cut fruit in half before eating to make sure it isn’t infested. Infested fruit should be reported to trading standards, he said.

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