Investigations are underway in Saint Lucia into complaints of a slimy clump discovered in Capri Sun juice.
A woman from the south of the island, speaking on condition of anonymity, brought the issue to St. Lucia News Online (SNO) last week.
She said the clump was discovered by her child recently and the matter was reported to Massy supermarket, where she bought the items.
Two other parents have made similar reports to SNO. They told our newsroom that they have been buying Capri Sun for years and this was the first time they are discovering something “nasty” in one of the juices. They are concerned about the health of their children and is urging the authorities to investigate and report back to the public.
A foul odour also emanated from the affected packages, the sources told SNO.
Massy has confirmed that they have received a report and the matter is under investigation. SNO submitted the photos of the substance to the supermarket.
“Based on review of our customer feedback database, we do have a log of a concern raised at one of our south stores on this matter. It was addressed with the customer and further investigations done in store as per our policy relating to product safety. The matter has since been escalated to the supplier,” an official from the supermarket group stated.
The official did not provide additional information, however, after further research SNO discovered similar reports published by the foreign media.
Below is an article from ABC News in the USA, several years ago:
Family finds mold in Capri Sun drink, company calls it ‘extremely rare’
ARBUTUS, Md. – For Sherry Mihm, it still feels like yesterday.
“My kids will never drink another juice pouch, ever,” she said, shaking her head.
The Arbutus mom has spent more than two months trying to get the bottom of the slimey clump that settled in her daughter’s Capri Sun drink.
“She couldn’t suck up, something was blocking it. And that’s when I looked in there and you could see a glob of something in there,” Mihm explained.
She immediately reached out to the Kraft Heinz Company, the parent company of Capri Sun. While the company admitted that the goup was “determined to be mold,” Mihm says she wants more information.
“It’s mold. Is it going to hurt her? Because I don’t know what kind of mold that is,” said Mihm.
In a statement to the In Focus team, the company called the incident “extremely rare,” telling us, “…the foreign matter was a common food mold – like you would find on bread or fruit – which, while extremely unpleasant, is unlikely to be harmful.”
The Maryland Poison Center agrees. Director Bruce Anderson says with around 65 thousand calls per year, the hear concerns about moldy foods, but it’s not very common.
“People get grossed out,” Anderson said. “When you discover it and you’re not real sure of what’s going on– it tastes awful, it feels slimy if it’s that kind of mold, but generally it’s not something that is a terribly toxic problem.”
In general, Anderson says the worst side effect you might see is an upset stomach. He called allergic reactions to food mold “really uncommon.”
According to the FDA, 20 people have filed complaints about Capri Sun since January of 2013, citing things like a “gelatinous mass” and a “cloudy globule” floating in the drinks. Other customers took to social media, posting pictures and comments about the gooey substances.
“I don’t see how they can sleep at night themselves. I think maybe their kids need to drink this instead of ours.” Mihm said.
According to a statement, the company says, “Because Capri Sun does not contain any artificial preservatives, it is possible for mold to grow inside a pouch that has been punctured and exposed to air.”
Full statement from Capri Sun:
“From the photo you shared, I was able to locate the impacted consumer and confirm the following: our executive response team worked directly with this consumer and retrieved the pouch in question for testing. It was determined the foreign matter was common food mold – like you would find on bread or fruit – which, while extremely unpleasant, is unlikely to be harmful.
Although it’s extremely rare, because Capri Sun does not contain any artificial preservatives, it is possible for mold to grow inside a pouch that has been punctured and is exposed to air. Even if the hole is microscopic and not visible to the eye, it can still be exposed to air after it leaves our facilities.
Capri Sun professionals have spent countless hours fine-tuning our equipment and doing extensive quality checks to ensure our pouches are strong, safe and resistant to leaks, and have invested millions to perfect the design and manufacturing process for a better pouch. More than 99.99% of pouches never have this problem.
We appreciate how concerning this can be, which is why we ask people to contact us when it does. Having direct information from consumers is invaluable and has helped us keep these incidents from increasing in frequency. We take these matters seriously, as the quality of our products and the trust of our consumers are critically important to us.”