Insect larvae found in dish at popular Midtown restaurant

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 10:16 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Local on the Square, a popular Midtown restaurant, is addressing contamination concerns after a dish containing live insect larvae was brought to a customer’s table on Friday.

According to owner Jeff Johnson, the dish contained contaminated blue cheese, and kitchen staff were not aware of the contamination until the customer discovered the unappetizing surprise on their plate.

Johnson says the blue cheese was delivered to the restaurant in its factory packaging and within its expiration date. It was reportedly refrigerated and factory sealed at the proper temperature and on the line Friday evening during the dinner rush.

Johnson says the larvae would have been undetectable unless staff went through and broke open crumbles individually, “which is obviously not standard procedure, until now, however.”

“It’s terribly unfortunate that the product made it to a table,” Johnson said. “When brought to our attention, we took steps immediately to rectify the issue.”

Immediately, the restaurant’s distributor was notified of the contamination, the kitchen underwent a complete scrub, and all food products were thrown away, according to Johnson. The distributor is now conducting its own investigation.

On Monday, the Shelby County Health Department conducted an inspection of the restaurant, and no insects or worms were found in any food products, the report reads.

Johnson said restaurant staff met with the distributor on Monday in hopes of further understanding how this happened.

View the full release by Local on the Square below:

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