Michigan Family Uncovers Black Widow Spider in Store Grapes

By ABC News

Nov 7, 2013 4:07pm

ABC News’ Michael Orr reports:

A Michigan family got more than they bargained for when they bought grapes at a supermarket and found a deadly black widow spider inside.

Callum Merry, 20, noticed a web and spider inside the bag purchased recently at a Kroger in Brighton, Mich. “I looked in the grapes and there was a black widow staring right at me,” Merry told ABC News affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit.

He wanted to capture the spider and release it into the wild but his brother, Alex Merry, recognized the potential danger.

“I had to physically push him away, take the grapes and put them into a bowl of water to kill it,” said Alex, who was also with his mother and sister, 14.

Black widow bites, which can be fatal for small children, can cause muscle aches nausea and paralysis in adults.

ABC News has been unable to reach the  family, which is originally from England.

The sister said her instinct would have most likely been to pick up the spider and place it outside if she had found it. “That’s what we usually do,” she told WXYZ.

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                                                                                  (Photo Credit: WXYZ-TV)

In a statement, Kroger said the Cincinnati-based company “is obviously concerned about the well-being of our customers. We  are extremely grateful no one was harmed in this incident. We recognize the customers reached out to our store team. The store team addressed their concerns with the customer.”

The store gave the family a $25 gift certificate. A company representative told ABC News today that officials were unsure how the spider got into the grapes but have contacted their suppliers to ensure there are precautions in place to prevent it from happening again.

“This sort of incident is uncommon,” said Paul Guillebeau, professor of entomology at the University of Georgia in Athens. He told ABC News that with any kind of fresh produce, the spider could have  entered the bag with the harvested crop, or crawled in the package during storage or shipping.

“There isn’t any way to prevent this 100 percent,” he said.

This isn’t the first time dangerous spiders have been found in supermarket fruit. A British family fled its London home this week after dozens of apparently deadly spiders were found on a banana bought from a supermarket.

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