Costa Rican banana association Corbana has denied claims that a deadly spider found in a bag of bananas bought from a Tesco store last month could have originated in the country.
Reports in the UK press said the fruit was infested with eggs of the Brazilian Wandering Spider, the world’s most venomous spider, which can kill a human in under an hour.
However, in a letter to the retailer, Corbana cited specialists at the country’s National Institute on Biodiversity (INBio), who said this species of spider had never been reported in Costa Rica and that even if it had been present it would not have been able to survive the journey or conditions of transit.
“As stated by the entomologist of our Corbana and the specialist of INBio, the temperature inside the boxes is too low for the appropriate development of the eggs,” the letter said. “In any case, as newborn spiders, they would not be able to bite, and this species only reaches adulthood in several months.”
Corbana went on to state: “due to the sustainable management practices employed on the country’s banana farms, we have noticed the presence of some species of arachnids, however, none of them has ever been considered to be dangerous to human beings."