A surprise ingredient in the soup caused a buzz Wednesday in one metro Omaha school district.
Bugs were discovered in some batches of soup delivered to the lunchrooms at nine Papillion-La Vista elementary schools and St. Columbkille Catholic School.
District spokeswoman Annette Eyman said possibly up to 150 students ate the soup before school officials discovered the contamination and recalled the soup.
The soup was prepared at Papillion-La Vista South High School. Food service workers found bugs in a pot of soup there before it was served to any students, Eyman said.
The bugs were discovered during lunch at Carriage Hill, Patriot and Golden Hills Elementary Schools, she said. No bugs were seen in the soup at the other seven schools, but it was removed anyway.
Officials took samples of the bug to the Douglas-Sarpy Cooperative Extension Service for identification.
It was identified as a sawtoothed grain beetle, she said.
“They're very common, and they don't carry any diseases,” she said. “They're not harmful if they're consumed.”
According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension website, the beetle is a common pantry pest. It feeds on many processed food products such as breakfast food, bran, dried fruits, nuts, sugar, chocolate and macaroni.
The flat beetles can get into sealed boxes and packages of food. Adult beetles are about a quarter of an inch long.
“They're just so tiny, which is how they got missed,” Eyman said.
School officials discovered live beetles in some of the packages of noodles used for the soup, she said.
The district will collect the noodles from all its kitchens and return them to the distributor, she said.
Kitchen areas will be sanitized, she said.