Black Widows Grapes: Poisonous Spiders Found in Grape PackagesBy: Erika Watts - November 23, 2013
Produce just got scary (and lethal) again. Remember when we told you about the woman in London who had a Brazilian wandering spider egg, the most lethal spider in the world, hatch on her banana? Well, now consumers in the United States are reporting finding black widow spiders in packages of grapes.
Reports of black widows in grape packages have been made in a few states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Minnesota. One of these cases happened in Milwaukee when a woman found a black widow spider in a container of red grapes purchased from Aldi. Yvonne Duckhorn was shopping at Aldi with her 4-year-old on Thursday and picked up a container of grapes to inspect when she noticed the spider.
“I saw the legs moving frantically,” Duckhorn said. “I’ve seen bugs on fruit before, and I thought, ‘That is a very big spider.’ Nothing I’d ever seen before.” Upon further inspection, Duckhorn saw that the spider was black and had red markings on it, which is the hallmark of the black widow spider.
Check out a photo of a black widow spider below–they can grow up to around 1.5 inches long and are the most venomous spider in North America.
After Duckhorn realized that the spider was likely a black widow, she alerted an employee about the spider in the grapes. Aldi has since pulled all grape packages off their shelves in the Milwaukee area. “At Aldi, we are committed to providing high quality products,” the company said in a statement. “We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this situation may have caused.”
A woman in York, Pennsylvania also reported finding a black widow in a container of grapes last week. Yvonne Whalen purchased a container of grapes from Giant Food Stores and was eating some at home when she noticed a spider leg.
“The next thing I know, there was this leg coming up over a grape and needless to say I dropped by grapes in the sink,” Whalen said. She saved the spider and an expert confirmed that it was indeed a black widow. The expert, Ryan Bridge, also said that finding black widow spiders in grapes is not unusual.
Will you hold off on purchasing grapes for a while or just be extra careful to inspect them before eating? Add your comments below. Judging from some posts on Twitter, it looks like a few people plan to swear off grapes for a while.[Images via YouTube and WikiMedia Commons]