BLACKFOOTâ€”Blackfoot woman Melissa Martinez was shocked and disgusted to find globs of what appeared to be mold or fungus in her daughter's Capri Sun juice pouch on Tuesday.
Martinez said her daughter Millie (4) took a Capri Sun foil pouch from one of the two boxes that she had purchased at Ridley's in Blackfoot. Upon taking a sip, Millie turned up her nose and said, "This tastes gross!"
Martinez tried the juice and said it tasted "very fermented, like wine." She then cut off the top of the juice pack and poured the contents into a glass container where she discovered the chunky substance. She opened all of the other juice pouches but did not find any others that were bad.
The Capri Sun juice pouches, popular with parents and kids for their flavors and convenience, should have a shelf life of about one year. Martinez said the juice had not exceeded the recommended expiration date printed on the box.
She shared her story, posting a picture of the tainted juice on Facebook, so that others will "watch out when drinking Capri Sun."
"I'm sick to my stomach knowing that Millie could've drank this. Thankfully she did not become ill," Martinez said.
Martinez contacted Kraft Foods about the problem on Wednesday and a company official called her back on Thursday morning to discuss the problem. She said the representative was pleasant and asked for the expiration date and UPC number from the product; however, he "didn't seem too concerned about it."
"He [Kraft Food rep] apologized and said that 'this can happen,' " Martinez said. "He said it happens 'after the juice gets sent from their warehouse' and that it can be caused from humidity and changing temperatures."
Martinez will be sending the yucky juice back to the company, in a container provided and paid for by Kraft Foods, so it can be analyzed. She said the company will let her know in two to three months exactly what the substance in the juice is.
While this is the first known case of a mold or fungus-like substance being found in the Capri Sun juices in East Idaho, apparently it is a problem that the company has grappled with for the past few years. In fact, there is a web page set up specifically to address the mold/fungus issue. The page reads: "You may have heard about mold found in pouches of Capri Sun. We want you to know that Kraft takes this issue seriously. Although it's extremely rare, because Capri Sun does not contain any artificial preservatives, something moms appreciate, it is possible for food mold to grow inside a pouch that has been punctured and is exposed to air. What forms is a common food mold similar to what might form on fruit or bread. Experts have told us there are no significant long-term health affects associated with consuming this type of mold."
The company is refunding all of the money that Martinez spent on the two boxes of juice and is sending her a bunch of coupons for Kraft Food products. Martinez said that while she appreciates Kraft's willingness to help 'right' the situation, she will not purchase Capri Sun juice again.
"I will use the coupons to buy other Kraft foods; things that I can see through," she said. "No more Capri Sun."
Consumers who have found bad pouches of Capri Sun or who have questions or concerns about the product can call Kraft Foods at 1-800-227-7478 or go to www.kraftbrands.com/capri-sun-mold-faq.