July 2013 survey of winter strawberries in Johannesburg

Johannesburg Winter STRAWBERRIES found by us to be BUG-FREE!

I performed a survey with two experienced mashgichim this Friday with strawberries in Johannesburg, South Africa:

3 boxes of strawberries were bought from Woolworths, Fairmount, and 3 boxes from Freshfellas, Glenhazel, both good quality suppliers .

We were interested in establishing whether any of these strawberries were infested with any insects, in particular the much talked about thrips, after various cleaning methods were followed.

As a special incentive, the mashgichim were offered R20 for every insect that they found during the survey.

Before the checks were performed, outdoors in good sunlight, with a magnifying glass for verification only, 3 methods of cleaning were used:
For each supplier:
i. One box was simply rinsed well under a steady stream of water after the tops were cut off
ii. The second box was soaked in soapy water and rinsed a second time after method one was followed
iii. All the strawberries from the third box were brushed over individually after methods one and two were done

After the cleaning, both mashgichim inspected every single strawberry from all 6 boxes, in good light, using a magnifying glass to verify if anything suspicious was indeed a bug, looking carefully for the small whitish thrips.
I myself inspected a large percentage of the strawberries from the first box (method 1)
The results were as follows:

Woolworths:

1. Box 1 : Method 1- NOT ONE BUG FOUND
2. Box 2: Method 2 – NOT ONE BUG FOUND
3. BOX 3: METHOD 3- NOT ONE BUG FOUND

Freshfellas:
1. Box 1: Method 1- NOT ONE BUG FOUND
2. Box 2- Method 2- NOT ONE BUG FOUND
3. Box 3- Method 3- NOT ONE BUG FOUND

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=544555172272368&set=a.494325060628713.1073741825.476148969112989&type=1&stream_ref=10

Anyone volunteering to repeat this experiment in other cities and countries?

It is important to note that it was  winter in Johannesburg- it is possible, though it would need to be proven, that results in summer would be different

p.s.- see reports re clean followup summer survey result in March 20124!

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