05/29/2015 09:39 EDT | Updated 05/29/2016 05:59 EDT

Food safety officials probe reports of insects in pre-packaged salads

OTTAWA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is looking into reports of the presence of Iron Cross Blister beetles in imported leafy vegetables.

The agency says some consumers have reported finding the insects in pre-packaged salads.

There have been no confirmed illnesses or injuries and the agency says it's rare that fresh produce harbours insects that can pose a threat to consumers.

The Iron Cross Blister beetle is very distinctively coloured, with a bright red head and bright yellow markings on the wings, separated by a black "cross."

The agency says the insect may release an irritating chemical called "cantharidin" that may cause blisters at the point of contact.

It says if anyone finds the beetle in their produce they should remove it without touching or crushing it.