Words by Kristine Solomon.
It was meant as a child’s reward for eating her full meal, but a packet of Capri Sun turned out to be contaminated with a disgusting surprise.
Cameron Hardwick, from the US, knew something was “a little off” when he grabbed the juice pouch to give to his three-year-old daughter, but it felt unusual, he said in a video he posted to his Facebook page.
It was deflated, but there didn’t seem to be any holes or damage to the pouch upon investigation. “We saw something that was not very pleasing once we shook it up,” the dad said.
Hardwick goes on to cut open the sealed packet with a pair of scissors and pour the contents into a glass on camera, and a solid, gray mass can be seen plopping into the glass.
“I don’t know what that is, but … clearly some kind of mold [sic],” he says as the camera zooms in. He notes that he shared the video as a “public service announcement” to other parents.
Posted by Cameron Hardwick on Monday, September 24, 2018
“To say we are irate would be an understatement,” he wrote in the post, which was originally published on Sept. 24. “We don’t give these to our children often but we will NEVER again!”
After hearing about Hardwick’s discovery, Kraft Foods — which manufacturers Capri Sun in North America — sent a representative to his house to collect a sample, according to Phoenix station KSAZ-TV.
It turns out the package sustained a “micro-puncture” that allowed oxygen to penetrate and mould to grow.
Yahoo reached out to Kraft Foods. The company’s head of communications Lynne Galia made this statement:
“Food quality and safety are our highest priority. This was an isolated case. We reached out to this consumer on September 25, as soon as we became aware of the video. Our Quality team has tested the product and confirmed this was a case of mold from a puncture. We shared this information with him on September 30.
Although rare, it is possible for mold to grow inside containers of preservative-free juice drinks if the pouch is punctured in any way on its journey from our facilities to people’s homes. We understand it’s unpleasant, but the mold is naturally occurring, just like if you left an apple on your counter for too long and mold begins to grow.
In 2014, we introduced new packaging that is clear on the bottom, so parents can check each Capri Sun for freshness. We also recommend gently squeezing each pouch to check for leaks before serving Capri Sun to their kids. Leaky or punctured pouches should be discarded.”
Capri Sun does acknowledge on its website previous incidents of mold found inside Capri Sun pouches, and it echoes Galia’s statement that the phenomenon is rare and that the company takes safety seriously.
“That’s why we have invested millions of dollars in our packaging, quality and manufacturing processes to make our pouches even stronger and more resistant to air leaks,” the site says.
In the meantime, Hardwick’s video has gone viral, with more than 21 million views and more than 559,000 shares. He has not responded to Yahoo’s request for comment at this time.