The supermarket began selling frozen grasshoppers, meal worms and moth larvae but removed them after two days.
Jens Jull, head of communications for Irma, told FoodNavigator: “We had a doubt concerning approval for the sale of insects. It was an internal decision. Our quality department went through the appropriate papers and wasn’t sure if the product had the right approval for the EU market.”
Insects for human consumption – and all insect-based ingredients such as flour – are covered under novel food regulations in the European Union and as yet are not authorised for sale as foodstuff at an EU level.
However the company supplying Irma with its insects was Belgian and there the law allows marketing of novel insects.
Jull said it had been a novelty product for customers and that Irma had no plans to start selling insects again.
“We don’t want to sell any products if there is a legal doubt.”
In January this year Belgium’s Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) produced food safety guidelines for eating insects.