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Woman Finds Black Widow Spider In Her Package Of Grapes
December 16, 2016
A woman in Troy, Mich., was stunned when she began washing a container of grapes purchased from Wal-Mart and discovered a black widow spider hiding within the packaging.
Ariel Jackson was prepping the grapes for a gathering when she spotted the spider crawling out from under the grapes on Sept. 6. Even before identifying it, she began "freaking out" her boyfriend Michael Frank told ABC News. Upon closer inspection, they saw the telltale sign of the infamous black widow: a red hourglass marking on the abdomen.
Jackson tried calling a few non-emergency lines to ask about proper handling, but found that they were all closed for the day. As a last resort, she called 911. To her dismay, she was simply told to "kill it." Frank and Jackson's brother took the package with the spider outside, where they doused it with insect killer, reports ABC News.
Never having encountered a black widow before, Jackson is still shaken by the encounter. "It was definitely frightening. My girlfriend is still definitely shaken up. The smallest little things freak her out now. I mean, it's not every day you see a black widow spider," Frank told ABC.
Walmart offered Jackson a refund and released this statement to ABC:
"Our stores have procedures in place to help ensure products meet our high expectations for fresh, quality food. We take food safety seriously and encourage customers to work with store management so that appropriate measures can be taken to fully understand what may have happened."
This isn't the first instance of a black widow spider hiding within a batch of store-bought grapes. A woman in Vermont was hospitalized in May after being bitten by a black widow hiding in her grapes. According to WPTZ, she had reached into a bag of grapes when the spider crawled up her arm and bit her. Gayle Finkelstein of the Northern New England Poison Center told WPTZ that typical treatment includes being monitored in the hospital, and anti-venom in extreme cases.
Relieved that no one was bitten during this encounter, Jackson told WXYZ, "I’m going to take a break from grapes for a little while."