Friday 21 October 2016

Tesco dispels fears over killer spiders in bananas

Published 02/04/2015 | 18:02

Tesco said spiders found on bananas purchased in Limerick were harmless. Credit: Limerick Post
Tesco said spiders found on bananas purchased in Limerick were harmless. Credit: Limerick Post

TESCO has maintained it has rigorous safety checks for all fruits after a customer feared killer spiders could have infected a consignment of bananas.

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A man who bought a bunch of bananas at a store in Limerick believed they contained what looked like an infestation of eggs from the lethal Brazilian Wandering Spider after a reading reports of a similar find in the UK in recent weeks.

The bananas were shipped to Ireland from Costa Rica, which is home to the toxic insect that can give a man a painful four-hour erection before imminent death.

The 31-year-old, who has not been identified, told the Limerick Post he bought bananas in the Crescent Shopping Centre, Dooradoyle, last week.

In a statement Tesco confirmed that lab results show that the skin of the banana contained a harmless spider.

"We have apologised to the customer for the inconvenience. We can reassure all our customers that we have a rigorous testing system in place for all fruit,” it told

“We have recently introduced additional treatments at source and we now wash all bananas twice using a higher pressure hose before reaching the shelf."

Tesco Ireland customer service also said it works closely with their pest control specialists and in rare instances like this, can ask them to attend the customers house to better understand the situation, inspect the property for any signs of evidence and if required will complete any control or monitoring.

The alarm was raised after the man’s wife read reports about a woman in the UK who had purchased bananas at Tesco last month, which allegedly contained an infestation of the killer spiders' eggs.

"My wife noticed the eggs and webbing on the banana when I brought it home from the supermarket last Sunday,” he told the Limerick Post paper.

“She had read about a similar case in England and felt straight away that it might be the same thing, that it might be the eggs of Brazilian wandering spiders.”

The eggs and webbing were only found on one banana and the skin on the fruit had not been broken.

His wife immediately posted on the Limerick Post facebook page warning shoppers to be on the lookout.

"We didn't want to throw the bananas out after buying them. We didn't know what to do with the banana to be honest, so I put it in a pyrex dish and stuck it in the oven for an hour and a half at 250 degrees," he added.

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