A supermarket in the Austrian city of Krems an der Donau closed earlier this week after the branch manager reported finding an unidentified spider in a pack of bananas.
The branch manager made a call to the city fire department to report the unidentified spider at 7:30 a.m. The description he gave was of a black and red spider approximately 10 centimeters tall.
By the time the fire department arrived, the spider had already vanished. All the other banana boxes were sealed with plastic, a process that took a little over half an hour.
The branch was then closed for safety after the spider could not be found, and shoppers were sent home disappointed after an extensive search turned up nothing.
While the shop was closed it was fumigated and disinfected according to REWE-Group the owners of Penny Market.
The REWE-Group also stated that they had brought in a specialist to identify the spider and that the shop would remain closed until the spider had been identified.
Workers at the supermarket told local newspaper Niederösterreichische Nachrichten (NÖN) that they were hopeful that the fumigation was carried out effectively and that the animal had been eliminated. NÖN also reported that customers were concerned about the fumigation, and whether it would contaminate the food, with no comment from the authorities.
There is concern that the spider was a "Banana Spider," which is the name given to several species of spider known to arrive from Brazil in banana boxes. Such spiders are known to have venomous bites which can cause high blood pressure, nausea, dizziness, and in some cases even death, although that is rare.
It seems unlikely that this spider was a banana spider because these spiders tend to show defensive behavior, and this spider fled instead of engaging in defensive behavior.