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Redback spiders have been found in bags of grapes being sold at two different Coles supermarkets on either side of the QueenslandNew South Wales border.

In purchases made yesterday, one of the spiders was found in a bag bought at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast and the other in a bag from Tweed City, just south of the border.

Retired policeman Andrew Bell told nine.com.au his daughter was eating grapes when she came across the “very much alive” spider.

The redback was 'very much alive' when Andrew Bell's daughter was eating the grapes.
The redback was ‘very much alive’ when Andrew Bell’s daughter was eating the grapes. (Andrew Bell)

“She was just munching away at them, and she just saw this redback,” he said.

“The last thing you’re expecting is a goddamn redback in the grapes.”

Mr Bell was concerned about what would happen if a child came across a venomous spider like a redback while they were eating.

“If I got bitten, I’m probably going to survive it, but a young child sitting in a high chair that’s been given some grapes to munch on, they’re going to be sick,” he said.

“If one of these redbacks latches on to a young child, that kid’s going to be all sorts of strife because you’re not looking for spider bites.

“A child under three or four is not going to know what a redback spider was.”

Tony Marshel felt the redback as he was eating grapes at lunchtime.
Tony Marshel felt the redback as he was eating grapes at lunchtime. (Tony Marshel )

Terranora local Tony Marshel was eating some red grapes at lunchtime today when he came across a redback.

“It wasn’t a huge one, but probably big enough to give a nip,” he said.

“I was very concerned that mothers put bunches of grapes in their kids lunchboxes, that could prove pretty bad.”

He said the grapes were bought yesterday, and the spider had survived a wash as well as a night in the fridge.

“This’d be more or less a hazard of the industry with fresh produce,” he said.

“I think it could happen anywhere.”

He said people, and especially parents of young kids, should be vigilant with grapes just in case.

A Coles spokesperson said the supermarket does a lot of work with suppliers to try and mitigate the risk.

Two new, super cute species of peacock spider discovered in Queensland

“Redback spiders hiding in crops is an industry-wide issue and Coles is working closely with our suppliers and industry bodies to remove any risk,” the spokesperson said.

“All Coles suppliers are required to keep their fields clean and have pest control systems in place to prevent product contamination during packaging.

“Coles takes the quality of all our products seriously and all grapes are visually inspected at harvest and packing for any pest presence.”

While venomous, redback spiders rarely bite humans.

An initial bite may not be particularly painful, but will develop over the next hour or two.

But the venom of a redback can kill, with young children especially at risk.

If bitten, people should immediately seek medical aid, apply ice packs and to stay calm.

Tourniquets and restrictive bandages should not be used.

Source: 9News

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