PEI

Spider senses tingling for Summerside man who finds 8-legged surprise in grapes

A Summerside man is sharing his encounter with a spider he claims was a black widow that he discovered in his grapes.

'I was shocked at the fact that it had been in my fridge for about a week'

Scott uploaded a video of the spider he found in his grapes on Sunday night. (Aron Scott/Facebook)

When Aron Scott went to the fridge for a late-night snack Sunday, he got a frightening surprise.

Scott was about to wash the last bunch of grapes that had been in his kitchen for a week, when "some spindly black legs started making their way toward my fingers."

Scott said what he saw was a live black widow spider. He has a personal interest in spiders and recognized its long front legs, black body and red hourglass marking on its abdomen.

"I was shocked at the fact that it had been in my fridge for about a week," said Scott.

The grapes were red table grapes imported from Mexico, said Scott.

Black widow spiders rarely bite humans, and their bites aren't usually life-threatening for adults but can cause severe pain and lead to painful muscle contractions, according to the Nature Conservancy of Canada website.

Dangerous for pets and small children

However, a black widow bite can be especially dangerous to children and the elderly and Scott knew this.

He has two children, ages four and five, as well as a few cats and a dog, and was scared for them.

Aron Scott says he still plans to eat grapes but will make sure to wash them well first. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Scott ended up throwing out the grapes and killing the spider. He said although he's usually "that guy who will scoop them up and take them outside" he didn't want to take any chances.

He then went back and reported the incident to the Atlantic Superstore, who gave him a free bag of grapes as a replacement.

Store follows food-handling guidelines

CBC News contacted the store and it said it meets or exceeds all food-handling guidelines. It said it hasn't had any other incidents like this recently.

Staff with Island Nature Trust said the images are consistent with the look of a black widow spider, but that it's hard to confirm without seeing the actual spider.

Scott says he may even immortalize the moment by tattooing the spider and grapes. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Scott said it was not something he was too worried about.

"Some people lose their minds, 'oh my God, I'm never going to eat grapes again' but the reality of the situation is you eat produce, fruits and vegetables," Scott said. 

"They grow in trees, bushes, in the ground or on the ground and that's where the bugs are. So sometimes you are going to get a bug."

Wash your grapes

His advice now for grapes?

"Have a look at them before you shove your hand in the bag and start eating."

Scott, a tattoo artist in Summerside, said he might just have to tattoo a black widow and some grapes on himself — or on anyone who's willing.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Brian Higgins

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