The following Kosher FYI was posted by the Star-K on Monday, January 13, 2013:

In honor of Tu B’shvat (15th of Shvat, Jan 16th) STAR-K presents the following regarding insect checking instructions:

When applicable, guidelines apply to produce grown and purchased in the United States. Checking procedures in other countries may be different.

Carob: Break open in several places to check for infestation. If it is infested, white stringy webbing will be visible on the inside. Holes on the outside may also indicate infestation.

Dates: American grown do not require inspection. For the more stringent, slice the date lengthwise and open. If webbing or seedy material is present, the dates should be discarded.

Figs: It is recommended that one open and do a visual inspection on a few out of the container (even if they have a hechsher). If they have no insects, one can assume the rest do not.

Nuts & Raisins: Do not require checking unless there is some reason to suspect infestation such as improper or prolonged storage or movement is noticed. Name brand raisins, which have likely not sat in storage for a while, are preferred.

If one insect is found, remove it. If two insects are found, a cursory check of the entire container or bag is recommended. If three insects are found the entire container or bag must be carefully checked.


Although the following are not traditional for Tu B’shvat we present them here due to the current situation.

Pineapple – There seems to currently be an infestation of mites on pineapples. The mites are ONLY on the outer rind and inside crevices if the pineapple is not peeled properly. If the pineapple is peeled until only yellow fruit is visible, there are no issues.

Garlic (whole) – There seems to be a current infestation of mites in between the layers of the garlic peels. The garlic cloves themselves have no infestation issues. As a precaution, it is recommended to rinse off the cloves.

We are still researching these two issues and will update with further information as it becomes available.