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Stowaway spider is found in bananas

A defence worker believed that a spider his wife found in a bunch of bananas could have been the world's most poisonous animal. Primary school teacher Karen Inglis was alarmed to see a hairy leg sticking out from the bunch of fruit. Her husband, David, pulled the bunch apart to find a large spider hidden inside.

Although the creature was dead, Mrs Inglis, from Catterick Village, North Yorkshire, demanded it was taken outside immediately. Mr Inglis, 35, a Ministry of Defence worker, said: "It was Saturday morning and I was upstairs at the time. "Karen peeled a banana off the bunch, put them back down and then noticed the leg. "She shouted she thought she had found a tarantula.

"I thought she was winding me up and guessed she must have put a toy spider in there, but I lifted them up to have a look and saw she wasn't joking." After looking on the internet, Mr Inglis believes the unwanted stowaway could be a Brazilian wandering spider. The species is mentioned in the 2007 Guinness Book of Records as the world's most venomous animal. The bananas were bought last week from the Co-op store in Catterick Village.

The fruit was imported from Costa Rica by Fyffes. The bunch came wrapped in cellophane. As a child, Mrs Inglis developed arachnophobia after her brother placed a toy spider in her bed. The same brother, now a vet, mischievously told her the remains found among the bananas could just be the spider's skin, which it had shed before escaping when the packet was opened.

"She couldn't get to sleep last night because she now thinks it might be alive in the house," said her husband. A Co-op spokesman said: "We would like to apologise to the customer and offer her a full refund and replacement bunch of bananas. "We can reassure all our customers that it is very rare for any spiders to be found among bananas."

Paul Barrett, UK brand manager for Fyffes, said that the spider was more likely a non-deadly huntsman or banana spider. He said the bunches of bananas were washed twice and inspected before being shipped to the UK.


Publication date: 9/4/2007


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