*Update 6/11/10 – Kraft has answered some of the questions posed below.*
Instead of spending Memorial Day with her family, Melissa W. Brown spent the afternoon trying to get a hold of different agencies to report what she found in her daughterâ€™s Capri Sun 100% Juice Apple Splash.
â€œWhen we opened a new box of drinks, my husband pulled the top pouch out. It was sticky and immediately started leaking everywhere. He went to drain it in the sink and felt something LARGE inside the pouch.â€
When her husband sliced it open with a kitchen knife, he found this within the Capri Sun:
Melissa says the unidentified object was â€œfoul smellingâ€ and smelled up the downstairs almost instantaneously.
When discovered, Melissa contacted Kraft and an independent testing lab. Since she found â€œit,â€ sheâ€™s asked for Kraft to recall the lot numbers as a matter of safety. They have declined.
Two weeks after discovering the object, Kraft has concluded it was mold inside of the Capri Sun. Melissaâ€™s independent lab is still testing. She had been contacted a few times by Kraft officials and had a conversation with a representative today who confirmed â€œitâ€ was mold, but would not comment on if any similar cases had been reported, or the type of mold that it was. According to Melissa, the Kraft representative declined Melissaâ€™s request for a recall, and would not say why he declined a recall.
â€œWe are not satisfied by any stretch of the imagination with this sudden response to me today,â€ Melissa said.
According to Melissa, the Kraft representative suggested she kept the drinks at improper temperatures. â€œWe live south of Miami and keep the AC up and running all day and night,â€ Melissa said. â€œYet again, another company [is] not taking any responsibility and trying to shift the blame on the consumer.â€
Kraft issued a statement today via their Facebook page:
â€œWe recently received word from a consumer about an issue with a Capri Sun pouch. We understand that some of you are concerned. Now that weâ€™ve tested the material, weâ€™ve confirmed it was mold. While unpleasant, it is not a safety issue. If this had been a safety issue, Kraft Foods certainly would have taken the necessary steps, including issuing a recall.
As a general food safety tip, please remember that because Capri Sun beverages donâ€™t have preservatives, a leaky pouch can cause the beverage to spoil and discarding it is the right action to take.â€
When talking to Melissa, a Kraft representative said punctures can frequently happen and situations like this can occur. Melissa suggested Kraft switch to clear packs like Minute Maid and other manufacturers. He said he would make a note of it.
This incident began on Memorial Day. Itâ€™s unclear how long testing takes, but it took Kraft two weeks to determine whether the unidentified object was mold, or something more serious or disturbing. Melissaâ€™s independent DNA lab test results have not come back. She says it will be another week or two.
Among anything else, Melissaâ€™s concern has been for her children and the other families that drink Capri Suns. She fears her daughter would have gotten very ill if she had drank the Capri Sun. The store she originally bought it from, BJâ€™s Wholesale in FL, voluntarily removed all of the product from their shelves when Melissa contacted them.
â€œI hope to God that all [of] this is mold,â€ she said. The comments on her photos suggest many other options, including human skin, dried pears (there are no pears in the ingredients) and something called, â€œMother Mold.â€
If it is indeed mold (which Melissa will not believe until her own independent lab issues their findings) should Kraft should have been proactive in removing the product from the shelves, at least temporarily, until they had determined what the findings were? How were they sure this was not a serious problem or serious mold? How did they know the mold was not a safety issue? Questions like these are being asked of Kraft by consumers.
Was safety a priority for Kraft? Was this an issue of quality control? Should consumers â€œfreak outâ€ about finding hard pieces of mold in their drinks?
What do you think this is?