Eight-legged surprise puts customer right off his pizza

By Chloe Johnson

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

A Domino's customer dubbed his takeaway the "Pizza of Death" after finding a poisonous white-tailed spider hiding in the box.

The Palmerston North man said his brother found the spider under the fold of the box after eating a slice of Meatlovers.

"My guess is it probably came out of the (delivery) guy's car," said the 25-year-old, who asked not to be named.

"It had a big white tail ... for all I know it could have been walking all over it, but no-one was hurt and that's the main thing I suppose."

The man named the company on a Trade Me forum this week under the heading "Dominos Pizza of Death".

He complained to management at the Pioneer Highway store, who immediately sent a staff member to collect the spider.

"I said 'how the hell is the person going to bring it back?'

"But I found an old coffee jar and put it in that.

"They came straight away, they were good about it. They gave my money back ($28), and I didn't want a replacement, but they offered me one."

Domino's New Zealand general manager Josh Kilimnik said the customer got an apology, a refund and a free pizza.

He said the spider would be sent for testing to see if it had gone through the pizza ovens.

"It's very rare for us to see this in any store but we do take it seriously. We have to follow procedure because we are an international brand and our customers expect that."

Kilimnik said delivery cars were inspected at the start of "most shifts".

"When this becomes a food-carrying device we need to make sure it's 100 per cent up to scratch and if it's not then that person can no longer deliver a pizza. It's that strict, it's just got to be."

Domino's had previously received a complaint from the same customer, but Kilimnik would not say what it was about.

There have been many reports of people who claim to have suffered severe reactions to bites from white-tailed spiders. But experts said there was no scientific evidence to support the theory.

"You will feel the bite, get a red pinprick mark and it goes away in a few days," said arachnologist Grace Hall.

- Herald on Sunday

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