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Black widow spiders

Black widow spiders found in grapes in several states

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 by: Antonia
Tags: black widow spiders, grapes, food safety

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(NaturalNews) Halloween may be over, yet it seems that the feared black widow spider is still lurking around. But instead of appearing as a scary plastic prank, the live arachnid is ending up in our food. Ongoing sightings of black widow spiders appearing in grape packages have made headlines lately, most recently in Wisconsin, Missouri and Michigan.

States with black widow spiders found in grapes

Wisconsin: After a customer found a live black widow spider in red grapes earlier in November 2013, the Aldi supermarket chain pulled its stock of grapes from Milwaukee stores. The spider had been sighted in red grapes in the Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, location.

Missouri: In October 2013, two black widow spiders were discovered in red grape containers in St. Louis, also in an Aldi store.

Michigan: 20-year-old Callum Merry was at home enjoying the grapes his family had just purchased from a Brighton, Michigan, Kroger store. Then he saw a web in the bag. Then . . . the live spider. His brother warned him against the potentially deadly reaction that the venomous black widow could impart and killed the spider.

Why black widows are found in grapes

It may be that the spider is used by grape growers as a natural alternative to pesticides, which was the case in the early 2000s when individuals in the UK reported black widow spiders in grapes that they purchased from Tesco supermarkets. In that instance, the grape grower said the spiders had been used on grape vines in lieu of pesticides. While this non-pesticide idea may be a good concept, having the spider end up in our shopping carts and homes is not.

In the recent Michigan incident, Kroger company officials say they are not clear on how the arachnid ended up inside the bag of grapes, but they are in the process of looking into the matter with their suppliers. News reports state that the store issued an apology and gave the family a $25 gift certificate.

Additionally, Aldi officials say they will engage in more inspection processes with the hope of avoiding another recurrence.

About black widow spiders

Even though it only kills around 1 percent of those it bites, the black widow is considered to have one of the strongest venoms in the animal world. Because of a neurotoxic protein that the spider produces, people bit by one typically experience minor pain at the bite location, which may evolve to breathing difficulties and nausea.

The elderly, children and those with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to the effects of the venom; however, anyone who thinks they've been bit by a black widow is advised to apply ice to the affected area and seek medical attention.

Sources for this article include:

www.foodsafetynews.com

www.inquisitr.com

abcnews.go.com

abcnews.go.com

www.jsonline.com

www.youtube.com

www.gourmet.com

About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. >>> Click here to see more by Antonia

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