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Beware of Trader Joe's Imported Penne Pasta - Stow-Aways on Board

Prepare to be grossed out - yes, I know Halloween is over. This is serious. I do this for public health reasons, and because it made me want to swear off pasta and Trader Joe's for a long long long time. Doesn't that suck? Yes, yes it does.

A few days ago I made a sauce for pasta and grabbed the package of Trader Joe's Imported form Italy Penne. The water had not boiled yet, so I put down the package and then I noticed something moving. Black and moving. Lots of black and moving and some dead, black and not moving.

The completely sealed pasta bag crawled with who knows what kind of little black bugs (see picture below and fill me in if you know), made me lose my appetite. I got out my camera and shot these pictures, but the pre-flash made many of them hide (guess they don't like bright light).
I am sooo thankful that I hadn't just opened the package and poured the contents into the boiling water - how many times had I done that...not looked at pasta before pouring it in? Hundreds. I usually buy Barilla brand in the blue cardboard box, and bugs could totally infiltrate that barrier, but to my knowledge, this is the first pasta bug issue I have had. In a sealed bag to boot. Anyways people, check your pasta before you pour it into the water ESPECIALLY if it is from Trader Joe's.

I am going back tomorrow to return the bug bag of pasta and I am sure they will be as shocked as I was. On the whole, Trader Joe's is a pretty excellent place, but this pasta thing...not cool.


Grace said…
OMG this is twice in a couple of weeks that I've read about bugs in packaged food. Take a look at my friend Marly's post about a fly in salad dressing (sorry for the link)
Anonymous said…
This just happened to us.
One package of farfalle was crawling with those bugs, A different one of spaghetti also had a bug or two.
Amother bag of farfalle seemed like it had water coming on or maybe it was larvae. The farfalle looked green. It was all quite disgusting.
We looked it up on Google and found your post
What did Trader Joe's say when you told them?
lindsay said…
I was expecting something more, but they just gave me "We will check the rest of the stock, thank you for bringing this to our attention. Jim will get you a refund when you go through check-out." That's it. Then when I went through the check out 'Jim' said they checked the stock with the same inventory numbers and (insert big cheesy smile here) found nothing in those bags. Come on, really? I just won the gross lottery and got the ONLY bag with bugs? I didn't see bugs when I bought it, only about a week afterward when I went to make pasta. Yuck and disappointed in the lackluster response from TJ.
Anonymous said…
Hi Lindsay,

Sorry, you didn't win the lottery. I throw away something like 6 bags for pasta from TJ in last 3 months because of these bugs.
Anonymous said…
I just experienced the same thing with the Trader Joe's Farfalle. Completely sealed bag had these black bugs that eventually got outside the bag. What kinda bugs are these? It grossed me out!
Anonymous said…
I think this might be an imported from Italy thing...I've run across them on different occasions, but always in sealed pasta bags from Italy (and not just those distributed by trader joes). I haven't figured out what they are yet, though.
Anonymous said…
this article will help you out

Unfortunately the bugs are not an isolated Trader Joe's incident, many pastas you buy will come with bug larvae (which are killed when you boil the pasta).

Seems the best solution is freezing
Anonymous said…
Here we are several years later and I have a bag of Trader Joe's penne pasta with the same black bugs. So disgusting. I might look into making my own pasta.
Ghost Gunner said…
Bought some pasta from Italy here in Sydney and had the same problem. I don't recall the exact brand but it wasn't Trader Joe's. Maybe Italy has poorly enforced health regulations.
Anonymous said…
These bugs are weevils. Little beetle-like bugs and pests.
Anonymous said…
saw two on top of boiling water.. tastes ok though!

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