Pennsylvania Woman Says She 'Freaked Out' After Finding Black Widow Spider in Package of Grapes

She said she found the potentially venomous critter after washing the grapes.

ByAVIANNE TAN
November 12, 2015, 1:07 PM

— -- A woman from Morrisville, Pa., said she "freaked out" after discovering a black widow spider in a package of grapes that the nanny for her children recently bought.

The woman, Amy Reed, told ABC News today that she found the potentially deadly spider this past Tuesday night "slowly ambling about" a package of Welch's Organic Grapes her nanny bought on Monday from a BJ's Wholesale Club in Fairless Hills, Pa.

"One of my sons asked if he could have some grapes, so I sent him up to shower while I washed the grapes," Reed said. "I put them in a bowl, washed them at least twice before putting them on the counter, where I then saw this spider crawling in the middle walking from grape to grape. I freaked out."

Reed's four boys came running down, and one of them said they had heard something about deadly spiders in grapes, so he looked it up on a phone and saw a photograph of a black widow spider with a red hourglass on its underbelly, she said.

"We grabbed a pair of pliers, and sure enough, we saw on its underbelly that it had the red hourglass mark, so we knew it was a black widow," Reed said. "I then put it in a trash bag to put outside, but I was scared it might get out and I thought BJ's might not believe me, so I put it in a ziplock bag, which I then put in another ziplock bag, which I then put in a trash bag inside our freezer in our garage."

PHOTO: Amy Reed says she found the spider at night on Nov. 10, 2015 after washing the grapes that her nanny purchased from BJ's Langhorne in Fairless Hills, Pa. on Nov. 9, 2015.
Amy Reed says she found the spider at night on Nov. 10, 2015 after washing the grapes that her nanny purchased from BJ's Langhorne in Fairless Hills, Pa. on Nov. 9, 2015.
WPVI

BJ’s Wholesale Club told ABC News in an email today that after Amy Reed’s husband, Hooman Noorchashm, spoke to the local BJ's, employees "inspected our grapes and discovered no spiders or other insects. We also contacted our vendor partner to make them aware of the incident."

BJ's added that the grapes were purchased last Friday, Nov. 6, according to its records.

Reed added that a representative from Welch's corporate office also called her to make sure the family was OK and explained that sometimes critters do make it into organic produce since no pesticides are used.

PHOTO: Amy Reed says she found the spider at night on Nov. 10, 2015 after washing the grapes that her nanny purchased from BJ's Langhorne in Fairless Hills, Pa. on Nov. 9, 2015.
Amy Reed says she found the spider at night on Nov. 10, 2015 after washing the grapes that her nanny purchased from BJ's Langhorne in Fairless Hills, Pa. on Nov. 9, 2015.
WPVI

Reed said that the dead spider is now in a jar on her shelf because her four boys think it's cool. She added that she doesn't plan on taking any action against BJ's or Welch's and that she "just wanted to make sure they notified their employees."

The family, however, is still a little shocked, so they plan on staying away from grapes for a while, Reed said.

"Grapes aren't high up on my list of things to purchase right now," she said. "I'll probably stick with blueberries or something else for now."

Below are BJ's and Welch's full statements about the incident, respectively:

The safety and well being of our Members is the top priority at BJ's Wholesale Club. All of our clubs follow very strict food safety procedures. We have zero tolerance for products that do not adhere to our strict guidelines for fresh, high quality foods. We are aware of the black widow spider a Member found in a pack of organic grapes at our Langhorne, PA location. We have inspected all other grapes and discovered no spiders or other insects. We are taking this matter extremely seriously and working with our vendor to take appropriate measures.

Welch’s take food safety and quality control very seriously. We work closely with our partners to ensure all products meet our strict guidelines. We are aware of the black widow spider found in a pack of organic grapes in Pennsylvania. We are working closely with Robinson Fresh, our partner who sources and distributes the product, and are confident this is an isolated incident and that our partner is handling it appropriately.

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