Deadly find in Woolworths grapes: 'Happens more than you think'

The Queensland woman shared an alarming photo to warn other Woolworths shoppers.

A Queensland woman has warned fellow Woolworths customers after discovering a redback spider lurking in her punnet of grapes.

Lani says she bought the fruit at the store in the suburb of Ipswichon Saturday and later spotted the small but deadly spider among the black seedless grapes.

She shared her disconcerting find on social media with a picture of the arachnid, which had made itself at home and woven webs throughout the fruit.

Woolworths customer Lani Neil, left, and right a redback spider among a punnet of Woolworths black grapes.
Lani spotted the redback spider crawling through the punnet of grapes bought at a Queensland Woolworths store. Source: Facebook / Lani Neil

"I just bought a punnet of black seedless grapes from the Redbank Plains store and found a live redback spider in them," she wrote.

The post prompted a former produce manager of Woolworths to comment saying incidents like that "happen more than you think" before urging people to use common sense and wash their produce before eating it.

"I once opened a box of bananas to find a live snake amongst them!!" he claimed.

Woolworths respond to redback discovery

The supermarket giant responded to the Facebook post and thanked Lani for alerting them to the issue, stating they take "reports like this seriously", before asking for more information to aid an investigation.

Woolworths confirmed to Yahoo News Australia they are in communication with the customer and intend to "look into this" matter with their growers.

"We take food safety very seriously and work closely with our suppliers to ensure precautions are taken on-farm," the spokesperson said.

Highly venomous redback bites are rare

Redback spiders are infamous in Australia due to the deadly venom of the female, but it's rare to be bitten by one as they like to remain in their web. Humans only run the risk of being bitten if they interfere with their web.

Their venom acts directly on its prey's nerves, causing a depletion in neurotransmitters and disrupting crucial neural pathways. Common symptoms of a redback bite are pain at the bite site, which can be severe, as well as vomiting, sweating and muscle weekness.

There is effective antivenom available to counteract the species' venom. According to the Australian Museum, there have been no deaths since the drug was introduced in 1956.

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