Fife man’s Aldi banana shock as he discovers nest of hatching spiders in fruit

The spider found in the Aldi bananas.

A Fife man feared his house could become infested with spiders after they crawled out of his Aldi bananas.

Retired teacher Glenn Jones, 65, unpacked his shopping to find a family of spiders contained in an egg sac among the fruit he had bought from the store in St Andrews.

And he described how he whacked the mother spider with a copy of The Courier fearing it could be poisonous.

“I normally usher spiders out of the house because I’m not in favour of whacking them,” said Mr Jones, of Cellardyke.

“But I had no idea if it was a poisonous spider about to disappear into a crevice in my home.

“I reached for The Courier. Faced with an unknown species of banana spider, there was only one quick response.”

Mr Jones said the egg sac was about the size of a hen’s egg, and the camel coloured spider was around two inches across.

The egg sac was between the bananas.
The egg sac was between the bananas.

After dispatching the spider, he noticed that the eggs inside the sac were hatching and saw tiny green spiders about to escape.

“I sealed up all the little ones because they were also about to make a break for spaces where they could disappear,” he said.

“They’re all still in a box, presumably hatching and eating banana.”

A 10 mile drive away from the store, Mr Jones said he attempted to contact staff at the Aldi off Largo Road in St Andrews, but was unable to do so by telephone.

He emailed the company on Friday, the day he purchased the bananas, to complain.

Aldi was unable to provide a statement when contacted.

However, the supermarket chain’s customer services responded to Mr Glenn’s email with an apology and reassurance that the spider was harmless.

Daniel Hodgkins from Aldi customer services said: “We are sorry that this incident has happened and wish to advise you that we have not received any other customer complaints in regards to this product.

“Of course, we appreciate that this does not change your experience and regret any distress you may have been caused.

“I would like to reassure you that Aldi will continue to insist on the highest standards from our suppliers and we monitor all customer feedback in relation to our products and services.”

He went on to explain that insecticides were kept to a minimum on the growers’ plantations, and the fruit was instead inspected and washed thoroughly.

“Billions of bananas are shipped from the tropics into Europe each year and very, very occasionally an insect may avoid detection,” said Mr Hodgkins.

He added: “We are most concerned that when harmless spiders or woolly nests arrive on bananas, they often become the subject of wild speculation and unnecessary alarm driven by the media.

“Sac spiders occur almost everywhere around the world and in Europe we have a number of our own native species, and sac spiders are harmless.”

Mr Jones was advised to “humanely kill” the spider eggs by putting them in the freezer.