Specimens of the potato moth were found in potatoes imported from Iran to Azerbaijan. According to Azerbaijan’s Food Safety Agency, inspectors viewed the imported batch of potatoes weighing 118.4 tons, took its samples, and sent them to the laboratory of the Institute of Food Safety.
The testing results showed the presence of a potentially dangerous quarantine pest (Phthorimaea operculella) – potato moth caterpillars – in the batch of potatoes. Such pests are capable to completely destroy crops both in the field and in warehouses within two – three weeks.
According to Azerbaijan’s legislation, in case of detecting a pest in any batch of products, it must be destroyed or disinfected. Despite this, during the repeated inspection of the warehouses, the agency staff has found that the infected potatoes had been already put up for sale.