Imported grapes trigger spider alert

Imported grapes trigger spider alert

rsz_dollarphotoclub_85128053New Zealand supermarkets pulled Mexican grapes from their shelves in early July after the discovery of venomous spiders.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) was investigating and said it believed some of the spiders were black widows, one a brown widow and two were yellow sac spiders. All of those species were venomous. MPI said they could be dangerous to people who come into contact with them but did not pose a threat to New Zealand’s horticultural industry.

All Foodstuffs stores in both the North and South Islands withdrew all Mexican green, red and black grapes from the shelf. The company said it had taken additional steps requiring all importers of grapes from Mexico to show evidence of product fumigation before accepting them into stores for sale.

It advises customers to visually inspect and wash all grapes before consuming the product. Foodstuffs said product withdrawals do happen from time to time and stores were following the normal processes associated with this.

MPI requested Countdown to undertake precautionary withdrawal of grapes from Mexico, which had been distributed to Countdown stores.

MPI has also requested additional fumigation.

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