Black Widow In Grapes: A Venomous Black Widow Spider Found In Grapes Bought From A Supermarket

By on Nov 21, 2012 in Animals, Science, United States Comments
Black Widow Found In Grapes
Black Widow Found In Grapes
Image Credit: Cape Cod Times/Steve Heaslip

A black widow spider has been found in grapes bought from a local supermarket. Two incidents have been reported by international news sites on Friday, November 16 and on Saturday, November 17 about a black widow that has been found in grapes. One from Yarmouth, Massachusetts and the other from Coventry, Rhode Island.

Laurie Kaiser of Yarmouth said in a report that the bag of grapes had been in her refrigerator for nearly a week and she had been opening the bag, grabbing a handful of grapes off and closing the bag back up when on Wednesday she noticed a spider.

“I washed each clump before we ate it. In fact, it was as I was getting ready to rinse off a clump last night (Wednesday) that I saw the spider,” said Kaiser as quoted saying in a report.

Kaiser captured the spider in a plastic container and brought it back to the store where she bought the grapes to inform them.

The supermarket reportedly took the spider and gave her a refund and the manager said he would inform the distributor about the incident.

On the other hand, James Sylvia of Coventry, found the black widow while his wife and 1-year-old son were washing the grapes bought from Stop & Shop on Thursday morning.

“Next time you wash your grapes there may be a black widow spider, so you may want to be careful. It’s not really harmful to people my age group or a little older. It’s very harmful however towards children, and my son is 1 year old, and he and my wife were washing grapes in the sink inches from the spider,” Sylvia said in a report.

“They’re more common than you’d think but they’re not often encountered because of their secretive habits. They’re probably the most venomous spider in this region,” he added.

The supermarket reportedly released a statement saying that, “Due to consumer concerns around pesticides, they have been used less over the years which makes the fruit more attractive to insects … and that (Stop & Shop) works closely with its suppliers to ensure proper inspection and trains its (workers) to check grapes when stocking shelves.”

Black widow was said to be a venomous spider. According to Wikipedia, black widow’s “bite is dangerous because of the neurotoxin latrotoxin, which causes the condition latrodectism, both named for the genus. The female black widow has unusually large venom glands and its bite is particularly harmful to humans; however, Latrodectus bites rarely kill humans if proper medical treatment is provided.”

Meanwhile, there have been 60 reported deaths in the United States since 1950 that were bitten by the black widow.

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