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article imageWoman claims she found spider in Chef Boyardee ravioli meal

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By Leigh Goessl     Jun 15, 2012 in Food
Mims - A Florida woman says she received an unexpected, and very unpleasant, surprise when she opened a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli for lunch. As she bit into one of the pasta pockets, she alleges a large spider was inside.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Victoria Harrah loves Chef Boyardee ravioli and has been eating it for the last several decades on a routine basis.
She said on Wed. when she was eating her lunch she bit into a ravioli and it was crunchy. Not tasting right, she said she spit the bite out and was startled when she saw a spider.
"Once I spit it out, I saw the legs," said Harrah, reported WFTV. "Once I saw the legs, I started screaming, throwing up, saying to my fiancé, 'Oh my God, Oh my God, I just ate a spider!'"
She described the spider as being a hairy, "big, black spider…bigger than a quarter."
The Brevard County woman said she called Chef Boyardee's customer service line and was told by a customer service representative that occasionally the ravioli's meat is mistaken for a spider, but it is actually meat that has not been ground thoroughly.
She insists it was definitely a spider.
"They were apologetic but they told me it was a figment of my imagination," she told the Orlando Sentinel. "I know what a spider is and this thing was baked into the noodle. I know for a fact it came from the can."
A spokesperson for Chef Boyardee's parent company, ConAgra Foods, said in a statement: "We have very stringent quality assurance steps in place, so we are very confident that there is no cause for concern with any of our products."
After her unsatisfactory answer from ConAgra and the suggestion she'd mistaken the meat for a spider, Harrah called the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, and has placed the can in her freezer until she hears back from the agency. The company says they are taking the complaint seriously and offered to take the can for testing, however now that the USDA has been contacted, they cannot do this just yet.
Harrah says she does not want any money from the company, except for a refund on the cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli she'd purchased.
"All I want to know is what kind of spider that was and where it came from," she said. She is glad she didn't heat it up to give to her grandchildren.
The Orlando Sentinel said that Harrah noted she is an arachnophobe, and still bears scars from a brown recluse spider bite she'd gotten 20 years ago.
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