Spider found at Tulsa Whole Foods

An employee at Whole Foods Market in Tulsa, OK, recently caught a spider (below) roaming in the produce section.

The director of animal facilities at the University of Tulsa, Terry Childs, thought it to be a Brazilian wandering spider, or banana spider, which is considered to be the most deadly spider in the world. Childs said the spider likely came to the store in a bunch of bananas from Honduras.

A manager at the store said employees check the produce for spiders and insects, and believes that’s why the spider was discovered before it left the store.

Whole Foods said in a later statement,

"We take every precaution to inspect all of our produce as it arrives in the store and prior to it being merchandised on the sales floor. This incident is an extremely unusual circumstance, and one that we’ve never encountered before. We are confident that this will remain an isolated incident as we are very cautious when unpacking produce for our sales floor."

I can’t find this statement, so I’m not sure if the entire thing is so defensive and impersonal. I wonder whether the store or chain ever said sorry for the scare, or that they were glad no one got hurt.

Granted, the situation may not have been as dire as was first believed. The curator of aquariums and herpetology at the Tulsa Zoo, Barry Downer, saw video and photos of the spider (who has now been destroyed) and thinks it may have been a Huntsman spider—an arachnid that is harmless to humans.

Regardless of its true identity, the spider was perceived as a threat to shoppers and Whole Foods would do well to recognize that.

If anybody finds their statement, I’d love to check it out: casey.jo.jacob@gmail.com, or comment here for all to enjoy.

‘Scorpion king’ back after bananas bite

Daniel Amey, 30, thought he had scratched himself until he noticed his finger was swelling up.

The Telegraph reported yesterday
he was rushed to hospital where doctors discovered part of a scorpion’s tail in his finger.

Mr Amey (right, photo from telegraph.uk.com), who works at The Food Company said,

"I put my hand in the box and thought I had cut it but by the time I was carrying the bananas, my finger had swollen up to twice its size and it felt like it was burning. The doctor was ex-Army and he knew straight away that it was a scorpion as there was a single impact wound from the sting. He told me that if it had been the other kind of scorpion from Africa, I would have been dead within 15 minutes.”

The greengrocer returned to work the same day but says he will be more cautious when unpacking bananas.