Venomous spider strikes again, in Waitrose bananas

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

A Brazilian Wandering Spider
A Brazilian Wandering Spider
A Waitrose shopper got the shock of his life when he uncovered the world’s deadliest spider in a bunch of bananas just delivered by the upmarket supermarket chain.

The man, who has been identified only as Tim, discovered the arachnid as he was unpacking the Waitrose.com delivery. Disturbingly, he and his family also discovered a sac containing hundreds of spider eggs with the bananas.

After looking up the creature on the internet, he concluded it was a Brazilian Wandering Spider – Latin name Phoneutria and otherwise known as the ‘banana spider’.

Native to Central and South America, the animal is named as the world’s most venomous spider in the Guinness Book of Records.

Called the police

He reportedly called the police and the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, neither of which could properly deal with the unwanted house guest.

Eventually, he called a pest controller, who trapped the beast and sent it off for analysis as well as putting the eggs in a freezer to kill the unborn creepy crawlies before they hatched.

In a statement, Waitrose said: “The safety of our customers is our absolute priority. We did everything we could to look after our customer during what was a distressing incident and we’ve apologised personally.

“Although this is highly unusual, we’re taking it very seriously and will be working with our supplier to minimise the risk of this happening in the future.”

Surfaced before

Most disturbingly of all, the same type of spider has surfaced before in connection with bananas bought from a UK supermarket.

Just last month, a woman found a batch of Brazilian wandering spider eggs attached to bananas bought from Tesco​. And in November, a Tesco store in Kent had to shut its doors to shoppers for hours after a Brazilian Wandering Spider was found under a crate of bananas.

The spider’s bite is rarely fatal and usually causes intense pain and inflammation, but it has caused deaths around the world. In 2005, a pub chef working in Bridgwater, Somerset, took a week to recover from being bitten by one after being treated at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton​.

Related topics: Food Safety, Fresh produce

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