Can one eat raspberries that might have insects in them?

Asked September 8, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT

Can one eat raspberries that might have insects in them? How best to remove insects from berries prior to consumption? Does freezing kill the pests?

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for the question. I'm unable to tell you if it's safe to eat raspberries that may be infested with insects as this is beyond the scope of an Extension Master Gardener. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, the only cleaning that should be done is a quick rinse of water prior to eating or preparing the berries in any way. I would assume that a spray of water would remove most visible insects but the ones inside are a different story. I think that insects in either a fresh or frozen berry would degrade the quality of the berry and potentially introduce pathogens you wouldn't want to eat. Freezing does kill many things but I don't know if we can assume that it kills all.
Please read this Extension publication on handling fresh fruits and vegetables safely: http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/preserving/fruits/handling-fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-safely/