We had the lights off and as the movie started I opened the package and started eating. Meanwhile I was answering questions about the movie and thinking there was something a little strange about this bar, like it was too dry or something, too crumbly. Then a connection got jiggled and our screen went dark, so I turned on the light so we could fix it. I happened to look down at some point and saw something wiggling in my oatmeal bar package. Looking more closely I saw it was simply crawling with little mealworms. Being a bit phobic of bugs and, by the way, a vegetarian, I completely lost my mind for the next 15 or 20 minutes and proceeded to try to vomit what I could. However I had no clue other than sticking a finger down my throat as to how to make myself vomit (in the absence of ipecac). I had limited success, though it worked better when I actually pictured what I had just eaten. Ugh.
Later we examined the package and couldn't see an expiration date although once I got home and had the bright lights of the ceiling fan I discovered where it was hiding. Apr 23, 07 was described as the BEST BEFORE date. I guess they're not exaggerating with their dates, huh? I normally wouldn't think a few months would make that much difference with dry goods like that. The package was clearly sealed before I tore into it. No other holes were visible.
We looked at the others and none of them were infested. Wow, what luck, I got the only one.
I think it's worth a note to Quaker to point out that somehow the date was on the opposite side of the package from where the words "Best Before" were located.
It will be awhile before I can stand to look at another granola-type bar. And I will never start eating something in the dark again, ever.
I was a bit freaked out that it might make me sick--I'm afraid to examine it also for mold or other decay. I got so sick last year from some kind of food contaminant (in the hospital) that I'm a bit gun shy. But it's been a few hours and other than feeling queasy from the psychological aspect of it all I am not showing any signs of sickness. Perhaps I got the worst of it up, perhaps my stomach acid killed the rest, I don't know. I suppose it could hit me tomorrow. Mindful of our problem identifying the exact virus or bacteria last year I've sealed this stuff in a plastic bag in case we need to culture it.
My hostess felt bad but it certainly was not her fault!