A dad today spoke of his shock after his wife and daughter found a rare spider and 30 of its offspring in a bag of grapes bought from a supermarket.
Steve Lowery bought the Spanish grapes from Lidl’s Wrekenton branch last week.
A few days later, his wife Layla and daughter Shawna, 10, were enjoying the £1.40 bag of fruit at home when they discovered what they believed to be a Sac Spider in amongst the bag as well as a white sack containing its babies.
After quickly putting the arachnid in a jar in the kitchen, the family woke up the following morning to find that the sack had burst and about 30 smaller spiders had been born.
Lidl today said that such incidents are “rare” and that the company has systems in place to stop pests and insects getting into food packaging.
Engineer Mr Lowery, of Albany, Washingon, has since complained to the company about the discovery. He told the Echo: “It’s the first time we’ve been to Lidl shopping and I don’t think we’ll go back. My wife and daughter were eating them on Sunday night when she was a big white sack in the grapes as well as a spider.
It could have bitten my daughter and given her a really nasty reaction.Steve Lowery
“I scraped it into a jar and then later the babies must have hatched.
“I’m just pleased they hatched after I got them into the jar and not in the kitchen, because we’d have ended up with 30 spiders running all over the house.”
Mr Lowery, 38, added that Shawna has been left frightened by the incident.
“My daughter says she’ll never eat grapes again,” he said.
“I’ve been in touch with Lidl and they’ve sent me a £5 voucher and a letter, but it’s more about the condition of the grapes and that’s not what was the problem. I’ve Googled what it is and it looks like a Sac Spider, which is supposed to be on par with a False Widow. It could have bitten my daughter and given her a really nasty reaction.
“The whole thing has put me off going back to shop at Lidl again.”
A spokeswoman for Lidl said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Lowery for sharing his feedback with us directly and would like to assure him that this type of incident is rare. “We take these matters very seriously and in addition to conducting regular quality checks on fruit and vegetables in store, our suppliers have procedures in place for identifying pests including spiders.
“Unfortunately, on the very odd occasion they may still get through.”