Tesco banana spiders: Woman describes finding eggs from world's most venomous spider in shopping - and supermarket's 'useless' response

The Brazilian wandering spider is listed as the most venomous in the world

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The Independent Online

A woman in southern Wales has hit out at the lack of help provided by Tesco when she discovered what are believed to be eggs from the world’s most venomous spider in a pack of bananas.

Maria Layton, 43, repeatedly requested guidance on what to do with the fruit after she discovered a white “spider cocoon” and webbing as she was about to feed her six-year-old daughter.

She told the Bristol Post that when she went to investigate the cocoon started to “unfurl”, and that in her fear she thrust the banana into a sealed box in the freezer.

Brazilian wandering spiders are listed by the Guinness World Records as the world’s most venomous spiders, and the nocturnal creatures have earned the nickname of “banana spiders” because of their preference for building their webs amongst the fruit when they are not hunting at night.

Ms Layton said she had read about the spiders before, but despite her fears received a less than satisfactory response from the supermarket chain.

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A Brazilian wandering spider filmed in Costa Rica

She wrote on the Tesco Facebook page: “Does it look like a spider cocoon to anyone? I called Tesco three times and was told to bring it back to the store.

“I opened the bag and chucked it in the bin before I spotted this thing. Should I take the bin to the store too and my fruit bowl? Would Tesco like to come round to check whether any baby spiders are in our house?”

Three separate customer service agents responded to Ms Layton’s comment, the first within the hour – but she was left nonplussed by their suggestions that it “does not look very nice” and offer of “a Moneycard as an apology”.

She said: “I'm more concerned about this being in my house and the wrapper being in the bin.”

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The image of the banana Ms Layton posted to Tesco's Facebook page

In a similar case involving Waitrose, a pest expert was sent out by the supermarket company after the RSPCA said it was too dangerous for them to deal with.

And a Tesco’s branch in Essex sent out experts to a woman who found eggs in her bananas in September 2014.

But there was no such luck for Ms Layton, who bought her bananas at the Tesco in Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley. She told the Post: “Tesco were a bit useless.”

A spokesperson for Tesco declined to comment when asked by The Independent if the company had a responsibility to advise its customers if one of its products contained a potentially deadly animal.

They instead issued a statement saying: “We’ve apologised to Mrs Layton and offered a gesture of goodwill. We’ve asked her to return the product to our store so we can conduct a full investigation.”

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