Mealworm burger, anyone? Insect food on sale in Switzerland Supermarket

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Supermarket Coop makes leap after law change allows sale of grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms for human consumption
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Switzerlands second-largest supermarket chain will begin selling insect burgers for human consumption after the countrys food safety laws were revised.

Coop said insect-based produce such as the flour burgers and balls of protein-rich mealworm would go on sale next week.

The products, made by a Swiss start-up called Essento, will be available in a handful of Coop branches, including in Geneva, Bern and Zurich, from 21 August, according to a statement.

Switzerland is the first European country to authorise the sale of insect-based food items for humans, a spokeswoman for the countrys food safety authority said.

Swiss food safety laws were changed in May to allow for the sale of food items containing three types of insects: crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms, which are the larval form of the mealworm beetle.

These insects, long used in animal feed, must be bred under strict supervision for four generations before they are considered appropriate for human consumption, according to Swiss law. This means local production will take a few months to get started.

In the meantime, imports are possible under strict conditions the insects must be raised in accordance with the Swiss requirements at a company submitted to inspections by national food safety authorities.
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