Ohio man finds black widow spider crawling in store-bought broccoli

An Ohio man may reconsider healthy eating after discovering a lively black widow spider inside a bag of fresh produce he had just purchased at a Maumee Kroger.

Jacob Vaughn, of South Toledo, told WTOL he was rinsing off a head of broccoli in the sink when he spotted a large black widow spider crawling out of the bag. Quickly, Vaughn used a pair of tongs to grab a piece of broccoli the spider was on top of, carefully placing the critter inside a Ziploc bag.

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"The spider came out and started waving his hands. It was pretty obvious he was alive since he was throwing his hands in every direction. He did not seem pleased," Vaughn told the news station.

"The spider came out and started waving his hands. It was pretty obvious he was alive since he was throwing his hands in every direction. He did not seem pleased."

- Jacob Vaughn

Vaughn sent his mother, Chandra, a terrifying video of the black and red-spotted spider, which she then shared on Facebook as a warning to friends.

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Black widow spiders are considered the deadliest arachnids in the U.S., with a venomous bite about 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake's, according to National Geographic.

"In humans, bites produce muscle aches, nausea, and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult," National Geographic explained in a post online.

Black widow spider bites can be fatal, especially for young children or the elderly, but they're pretty rare. The critters typically only use venom as a defense mechanism.

Kroger confirmed the incident in an email to Fox News on Tuesday.

"Kroger works with growers to ensure we are always providing safe, quality food to our customers. We encourage customers to inspect fresh produce prior to consuming," the company said in a statement. "If customers are not satisfied with their purchase they are welcome to return it for a refund or exchange."

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Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.

A video of the spider made its way to Cheryl Garcia, who works with Another Chance Sanctuary in Clyde. Garcia reached out to the family in order to save the black widow spider.

The organization has since been giving updates on the spider through their Facebook page, Life with Elliott and Friends. On Thursday, the group announced that the black widow, who they named "Broccoli," had been adopted.

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"Congratulations to Broccoli on her new home. She will be going to live with a young lady who recently lost her female black widow," the rescue group wrote in a Facebook post. "Little Broccoli has become a little super spider star."