Black Widows Found On Grapes At Supermarkets In Several States

Posted on November 23, 2013 by


A Pennsylvania woman got quite the shock Thursday when she was washing some red grapes and felt her fingers brush up against something slimy. Yvonne Whalen saw a long spider leg creep over the top of one of the pieces of fruit and immediately dropped the colander into the sink.

A spider expert later confirmed what Whalen’s initial Internet search revealed — it was a young black widow crawling on the grapes.

Those at Giant Food Stores admit is does happen from time to time. Whalen said she brought them at the Dillsburg location.

“A customer alerted us today that she found a black widow spider in grapes she had purchased from our Dillsburg store,” Giant said in a statement.

“We regret that this incident has occurred and are taking immediate steps to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future. We will continue to diligently inspect product both at our perishable distribution center and at the store while thoroughly investigating this serious matter with our suppliers.”

Yvonne Duckhorn was inspecting a container of red grapes at a Aldi supermarket in Wauwatosa, Wis., earlier this month, when she spotted something peculiar.

I saw the legs moving frantically,” Duckhorn recalled to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. “I’ve seen bugs on fruit before, and I thought, ‘That is a very big spider.’ Nothing I’d ever seen before.”

Duckhorn wrapped the container in a plastic bag and handed it off to an employee, warning that she spotted a red marking on the spider’s abdomen — a common characteristic of Black widows. As a precaution, the chain opted to remove all grapes from stores in the Milwaukee area.

 In another incident this month in Michigan, 20-year-old Callum Merry noticed a spider web in a bag of grapes purchased at a Kroger store in Brighton.

I looked in the grapes and there was a black widow staring right at me,” Merry told ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV. While Merry wanted to release the spider outside, fortunately, his 14-year-old recognized the danger and intervened.


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Posted in: Family safety