Keeping Kosher in Greater Virginia
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Vegetables

Requirements For Vegetable Checking

Click here to see a list of insect checking videos.
Click here to purchase a light box.

Common Leafy Vegetables that Require Inspection

  • Bibb Lettuce
  • Bok Choy
  • Boston Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Collards
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Mustard Leaves
  • Napa Lettuce
  • Radicchio
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Spinach Greens

One of two methods may be used:

A. Leaf by Leaf Inspection:

  1. Separate leaves.
  2. Soak in water.
  3. Make a complete, leaf by leaf inspection.
  4. Wash off any insects prior to using.

Click here to watch a lettuce checking tutorial video.
Click here to see a list of insect checking videos.

B. Chazaka Check for Large Volumes of Leafy Vegetables:

  1. Throw out outer leaves.
  2. Separate leaves of three heads of the vegetable.
  3. Do NOT wash leaves.
  4. Check the three heads leaf by leaf.
  5. If one bug is found in the test heads, all the produce in the consignment must be checked leaf by leaf.
  6. If no bugs are found, the rest of the shipment does not require checking and may be used after pulling off the outer leaves of the heads of the remaining consignment.

Note: Leafy vegetable inspection is greatly enhanced when vegetables are placed over a light box.

Floreted Vegetables
Fresh Broccoli and Cauliflower

  1. Wash florets thoroughly under a strong stream of water.
  2. Agitate florets in a white bowl.
  3. Examine the water to see that it is insect-free.**
  4. If it is insect-free you may use the vegetable.
  5. If insects are found, you may re-do this procedure up to three times in total. If there are still any insects, the whole batch must be discarded.

Fresh Stem Herbs
Basil
Cilantro
Dill
Mint Leaves
Parsley
Rosemary
Sage

  1. Wash vegetables thoroughly under a strong stream of water.
  2. Agitate in a white bowl.
  3. Examine the water to see that it is insect-free.**
  4. If it is insect-free you may use the vegetable.
  5. If insects are found, you may re-do this procedure up to three times in total. If there are still any insects, the whole batch must be discarded.

Scallions
Examine three scallions in a bunch as follows:

  1. Slit scallion tubes and examine inside of tube closest to the bulb.
  2. If no insects are found, scallions may be used.
  3. If one insect is found, then all the scallions must be checked.

Asparagus
Examine three stalks in a bunch as follows:

Checking Asparagus Leaves:

  1. Check under a few of the triangular-shaped leaves on the side of the asparagus.
  2. If one insect is found, then all the stalks must be checked.
  3. If no insects are found, proceed to check tips.

Checking Asparagus Tips:

After checking leaves, follow this procedure:

  1. Wash thoroughly under a strong stream of water.
  2. Agitate in a white bowl.
  3. Examine the water to see that it is insect-free.**
  4. If it is insect-free you may use the vegetable.
  5. If any insects are found, then this procedure must be done on all tips of all the stalks. You may re-do this procedure up to three times in total. If there are still any insects, the whole batch must be discarded or tips must be cut off.

Celery Stalks
Cut off leaves and wash stalks well under a stream of water.

Vegetables that Only Require Washing
Leeks
Mushrooms
Red Cabbage

Vegetables that Only Require a Visual Check
Corn on the Cob

Vegetables that Do Not Require Inspection
Alfalfa Sprouts
Bean Sprouts
Beans
Beets
Carrots
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Green Beans
Kohlrabi
Onions
Parsnips
Peas
Peppers
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Radishes
Rutabagas
Squash
Sweet Potatoes
Tomatoes
Turnips
Zucchini

Vegetables that Cannot be Checked
Artichoke Hearts
Brussel Sprouts

FRUITS
Strawberries

  1. Fill basin with water and some cleanser* or special strawberry wash
  2. (such as Tsunami 100).
  3. Soak strawberries while agitating the water.
  4. Rinse strawberries under a stream of water.
  5. It is preferable to cut off the top with a small amount of the flesh.
  6. Strawberries may now be used.

Click here to watch a strawberry bug video.
Click here to see a list of insect checking videos.

Raspberries

  1. Take three raspberries out of a pint.
  2. Check outside of raspberry.
  3. Blow into cavity of raspberry.
  4. Check for insects crawling out.
  5. If no insects are found, all berries may be eaten. If one insect is found, then all berries must be checked.

* Note: Be sure to use a food grade cleanser that meets all federal, state, and local regulations, and rinse well to remove detergent.

** Note: It may be helpful to shine a high intensity light or flashlight on the surface of the water to make it easier to detect any insects and distinguish them from bits of debris or detached florets.

Reposted with Permission from Star-K