A Wiganer was shocked to discover a scorpion in a box of blackberries he bought from a supermarket in the borough.
James Green, from Worsley Mesnes, made the discovery of the pint-sized predator, which was fortunately dead, in the punnet of fruit he picked up from the Sainsbury’s at Marus Bridge.
He and his wife Lynda were both stunned to find the creature, which is distantly related to spiders and has an impressive pair of pincers and a venomous stinger in its tail.
As the blackberries Mr Green, 71, was eating were picked in Mexico he and Mrs Green are now wondering if the animal, which was a few centimetres in length, made its way to Wigan from there.
The couple, of Cheetham Grove, have made light of the incident due to the scorpion’s small size and have now accepted a £15 compensation offer from Sainsbury’s.
Mrs Green, 68, said: “We went do the shopping on Friday afternoon and James was eating them while sat watching the TV.
“He had nearly eaten all of the blackberries when he suddenly exclaimed he had found a scorpion in the box.
“I didn’t believe him at first but then I saw it. It was probably about an inch and three-quarters.
“It was dead which is lucky because James could have been stung if it had been alive. It still had its stinger. He also said he could have eaten it. It doesn’t really bear thinking about. It was a bit of a shock.
“I’ve not a clue what we’re going to do with it. We’ve accepted the compensation. There’s not really much Sainsbury’s can do about it.”
Mr and Mrs Green did not spot the scorpion when they bought the fruit and then put the plastic box in the fridge over the weekend.
Their son Ian, who rang Sainsbury’s on his parents’ behalf to alert the issue, says he has some concerns about what has happened.
“It didn’t look like they have the correct checks in place on the food. That could be poisonous,” he said.
The supermarket has also held its hands up and admitted wrongdoing.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Incidents like this are exceptionally rare and we have strict processes in place to prevent them from happening. We are investigating with our supplier and have apologised to Mr and Mrs Green for their experience. We have also arranged a gesture of goodwill, which they have accepted.”
Very few species of scorpion have venom capable of killing or badly injuring people.