It's every kid's dream come true and every arachnophobe's worst nightmare: Woolworths stores in NSW and Queensland are removing broccoli from sale following the discovery of redback spiders hidden inside the vegetables. In at least three separate incidents, customers spotted the venomous spiders nestled in florets, with one sharing the image on social media. In response, the grocery chain has ceased accepting produce from three suppliers.
It would seem Woolworths needs to sort its much-touted "fresh food" out. Back in February, several brands of pre-packed lettuce mixes were recalled following a major salmonella outbreak in Victoria. Now, it's serving up live redback spiders with its broccoli.
The disturbing find was posted on Woolworths' Facebook page by a customer. This was followed by at least two more customer complaints relating to the same issue.
"Supply of this batch of product has been temporarily suspended while we work closely with three of our Queensland suppliers to ensure we are receiving the best-quality produce," a Woolworths spokesperson said in a statement. "We are currently in contact with customers who have brought concerns to our attention."
Apparently, the eight-legged stowaways are a byproduct of a bio-based pest management system that relies on natural predators in place of chemical pesticides. The broccoli shortage is expected to affect stores in Queensland and some parts of NSW. (Cross your fingers, kiddies.)