Family spot spiders after tucking into tasty grapes

NOT HAPPY From left, Rachel Shepherd, Freddy and Jack Coulbert. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132335-286)
NOT HAPPY From left, Rachel Shepherd, Freddy and Jack Coulbert. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132335-286)
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A GRIM discovery awaited a family in a tasty pack of grapes – but only after a two-year-old had chomped some of them.

Jack Coulbert bought the pack of green grapes from Asda in Gosport, finding too late a live spider and dead flies.

He and partner Rachel Shepherd, 23, had bought them for the family, including son Freddy, two, to enjoy.

Jack, of Clayhall Road, in Gosport, did some quick research and found the spider was a steatoda paykullian, which has venom and a powerful bite and is known as the false widow.

Jack, 23, said: ‘My little boy had a few then I was sat on the sofa and had a couple and realised there was spider in there.

‘My son had his hands in there and everything rummaging around – that’s a bit worrying.’

Jack quickly wrapped up the carton in cling film, leaving it downstairs on the kitchen side overnight.

He added that Freddy probably ate up to around 10 of the grapes and that Rachel had a nightmare about the spider.

Jack took the box over to Gosport council’s environmental health team.

He added: ‘They took them off us to identify the spider.

‘They got back to my partner and told her there was two spiders in there, not one. One of them had been killed and wrapped up in a web.’

The council said it agreed with Jack’s identification of the spider but said the critter is not usually aggressive and only bites if it feels threatened.

And it added the spider’s venom does not have a lasting effect.

Initially, Asda offered a refund on the £1.50 grapes, which Jack said was ‘disgusting’.

But Rachel visited the store on Tuesday and it has now also given the family a £5 voucher.

In a statement an Asda spokeswoman said: ‘We have procedures in place to ensure our fresh produce is free from insects.

‘But very occasionally isolated cases are brought to our attention.

‘We apologise for any distress caused by finding this spider and have offered the customer a goodwill gesture and refund.

‘The case has been investigated.’