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Caterpillars on menu close French diner

March 1, 2013 at 10:53 AM

PARIS, March 1 (UPI) -- A restaurant in France has been closed after health inspectors said they found a boiling pot of caterpillars in the kitchen.

The discovery was made during a routine check of the diner's hygiene and the origin of its food items, The Local.fr reported Thursday.

The restaurant outside Paris, described as of "African origin," was licensed to sell only drinks and take-home meals.

European consumers have been unnerved recently by concerns about horsemeat in their meals, so the unexpected menu item caused authorities to quickly close the eatery.

Some 300 pounds of meat were discarded after the owner of the diner could not produce certificates showing the origin of the meat. The proprietor also was arrested for employing a foreigner without a work permit.

Caterpillars are a common source of protein in Africa. One method of preparation calls for thoroughly washing the dried bugs, steaming them in salted water for 10 minutes and then frying them in oil until crisp.

Serve with tomato relish.

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