Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 11:54 UK

Black widows found in warehouse

Black Widow spider
Black widows are among the most poisonous spiders in the world

Workers at a warehouse in Clackmannanshire have found two poisonous black widow spiders in crates imported from the US.

The spiders, along with two others from a different species, were discovered in a barrel used to store whisky at the site in Cambus.

Diageo, which owns the warehouse, said the spiders later died.

Black widows are among the most poisonous spiders in the world, but their bite is not usually fatal.

Staff at the site have now been given safety advice on how to handle any similar discovery in the future, and have been told to wear gloves and footwear to protect them from bites.

'Live spiders'

A Diageo spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that two black widow spiders, which subsequently died, were found in a container recently which originated from Napa, California.

"These were identified as black widow spiders after taking advice from our pest control provider.

"A further two live spiders, not black widows, were also found in the container."

The drinks firm insisted that staff at the Clackmannanshire site had received about 372 containers from Napa since the beginning of 2009 and that this had been the only time spiders were discovered.

The spokeswoman added: "The health and safety of our employees is of paramount importance to us and we have robust risk assessments and work instructions in place at our sites which all our employees are fully aware of.

"We have also sought additional advice from our Occupational Health Department and communicated this to our Cambus employees."

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