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Old 07-09-2008, 07:37 PM   #1
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Black widow spider in grapes

I thought this may be a good place to explain what happened to me today. My assistant manager was prepping grapes at the restaurant I manage and she sceams. She yells to me to get the spider she saw in a box she was working out of. I tell her to just kill the spider but she says no way. So I went over to look in the box and see a black spider, what appears to be dead, sitting there. I roll it over with a paper towel and it was a black widow. I took a few pictures to show my produce company, but these grapes come from Mexico and you just never can be too careful of what can come in your back door. I am in Michigan and we can have them here but I have never seen one in person. This had to be the oddest thing I ever seen out of 20 years in food service.

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Old 07-09-2008, 08:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyscjocki View Post
I thought this may be a good place to explain what happened to me today. My assistant manager was prepping grapes at the restaurant I manage and she sceams. She yells to me to get the spider she saw in a box she was working out of. I tell her to just kill the spider but she says no way. So I went over to look in the box and see a black spider, what appears to be dead, sitting there. I roll it over with a paper towel and it was a black widow. I took a few pictures to show my produce company, but these grapes come from Mexico and you just never can be too careful of what can come in your back door. I am in Michigan and we can have them here but I have never seen one in person. This had to be the oddest thing I ever seen out of 20 years in food service.
Hi Dyscocki,

I live in the UK and Black Widow Spiders are a rare. However, if you believe that you have seen a black widow spider in package of food then I would urge you to contact your local Environmental Health?/Community Health organisation, ASAP, and I repeat, ASAP. The reason for this is that until you know that, first it is a black widow spider you don`t know what it is. Second, female black widow spiders may have laid eggs which are yet to hatch!!!

I apologise, but I`m not trying to scare you but you need to alert the authorities and get them to check it out for you, ASAP!

TRUE STORY - a well known and respected retailer in the UK sold a plant to a customer who noticed a spider climbing out of the plant. The customers did not recognise the beast, killed the spider and called in the local environmental health department. They identified the spider as a female black widow. The family were ordered to leave their home whilst the house was checked to ensure that no little babies were about, IIRC, lifting floorboards was the least of their worries! The retailer paid for the cost of the familys`s stay in an hotel and for the complete redecoration of their home. Marks out of ten - surely 20!

Contact your local health authority/environmental health agency ASAP and expaline the issue to them.

I have no wish to be a harbinger of doom but you do need to get this checked out ASAP.

All the best and keep us posted,
Archiduc
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:43 PM   #3
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Our procedure for handling raw fruits and vegetables that are ready to be served is to wash them in a solution that in a sence sanitizes the skins. We do this for all ready to eat foods before serving. Anything on the fruits will be washed and sanitized before anyone else gets in touch with it. I am certain of the species of the spider due to the black in color and the redw hourglass on the underside on the hind end. The spider was not in the package but outside in the box. There are 12 bags of grapes in a flat box and it was not in the bag just between bags in the box. The produce was delieved today and appears dead at the time I moved it because it did not move at all.
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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I have a DIL who is, well, a little strange .... some of her pets include things my son has found when opening boxes of fruits/produce. I remember there was a tarantula he found in a box of bananas from somewhere in South America, a couple of different kinds of scorpions (one really nasty looking big one I remember was in a box of avocados from Mexico) - a lizard in a box of something from South America, and a baby rattle snake in a box of peaches from the county just west of us.

You just never know where these little "hitch hikers" grab a ride ....

It doesn't happen often - but sometimes you get more than you thought you were getting!
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:37 PM   #5
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My friend found a baby tarantula in a bag of salad I bought him from a local farm. The kicker is he didn't find it until he was in the middle of eating the salad! I was disappointed he didn't save it for me, after all I payed for it.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:31 PM   #6
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Jeez, thanks guys.. I will never open a box of produce again.....
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:40 PM   #7
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My mom's kitchen window, between the window and the storm window, was a
Spider Refuge. Very creepy; probably about 12 spiders lived in there. In the
upper left corner, the Black Widow lived. I spent a lot of time watching them
do their thing... pity the bugs that entered...
What was cool was when the spiders' eggs started to hatch! Mrs. Widow's never
did, darn it.
Somewhere I have some pictures I think... if I can dig them up I'll make an album
for the more spider tolerant of us, LOL!

edit to add: Nope, not on this computer... must have been on the Lost the Hard Drive one, darn it.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:45 PM   #8
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dh's good buddy was working at a local supermarket, unloading a crate of bananas.
Long story short, a brown recluse (sp?) crawled up his pant leg and bit him. He spent a VERY long time in ICU. After many skin grafts, he still has a large chunk out of his leg, but thankfully, has a good range of motion.
Unfortunately, even though he had a very good lawyer (only wanted his medical expenses paid), the supermarket refused, saying there was no way to prove it was from their produce.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:18 AM   #9
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Wow, this made me lose my appetite, and go lock all the windows :(
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:11 AM   #10
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David found a Black Widow once while working in the produce department at Safeway. Silly kid put it in a jar and kept it alive for over a year.
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