£15 for boy who finds black widow spider in grapes

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black widow

Callum Merry, a 20-year-old from Brighton, Michigan, spotted a spider lurking in the bag of grapes he was snacking on. He was about to fish it out and set it free, when his older brother realised in horror that he was reaching for a black widow spider.

And he's not the first to make this horrifying discovery.


Merry had been eating from the fruit bag bought from a Kroger supermarket. ABC reported that his brother Alex realised what was going on, grabbed the bag and drowned the spider in a bowl of water.

A spokesperson for Kroger told the Metro: "We are extremely grateful no one was harmed in this incident. Kroger works extensively with our growers to insure there are inspection processes points in place to make sure we are providing safe and quality food at all times." However, it added that customers should always 'practice safe food handling'.

The store gave the family a £15 gift card.

One of many

It's a horrific thought, that a black widow could be lurking in your grapes, but it's not actually all that uncommon in America.

An Aldi in Milwaukee took grapes off its shelves at the end of last week, after a customer spied a black widow spider in a container of grapes. It said the decision to remove them all was out of 'an abundance of caution'.

Last month is was the turn of a woman in Fresco, California, who spotted the spider when she was washing a bunch of grapes. She said she was being cautious because she had spotted the webs in the bag.

The month before, a Minnesota high school student found one in the grapes he was given for lunch, which he said cleared the lunch hall pretty quickly.

In fact in the US between 10 and 15 people find black widow spiders in their food in an average year. The number has grown because farmers have been cutting down on pesticides, so spiders move into the harvest to feast on the bugs. Their size and shape can make them hard to spot amidst dark red grapes.

The only relief for UK shoppers is that finding one of these is very rare in the UK. The last time they were found in grapes in the UK was in 2002, when three black widows were found in packets of grapes from Tesco. There were more reports of findings in 2007 - but they turned out to be the false black widow.