As you may be aware, consumer Melissa Wiegand Brown recently found this nastiness in a leaky pouch of Capri Sun that she had purchased.
You can view more photos in her album here.
She wrote this on her FB photos wall: “when we opened a new box of the 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… that’s when he got out a kitchen knife and sliced it open as he was yelling for me to get the camera and document it!”
The photos have sparked a HUGE consumer response, to say the least.
After cutting a slice to have it tested independently, Melissa gave the rest to Kraft for testing.
Kraft’s initial testing reported the matter to be mold. They are also having a second independent lab test it.
Kraft released this set of Capri Sun FAQs on their site:
CAPRI SUN FAQs
We appreciate that our Facebook community is so engaged and willing to share their point of view. Whenever you have questions about one of our products, it’s important that you’re in the know about what we know. It’s also important that you have the most accurate and up-to-date information from us. You can find answers below to some of your most pressing questions. Let’s keep the lines of communication open.
— Vinay Sharma, Director, Capri Sun Beverages
Why have you been so slow to respond?
We take every consumer contact seriously and responded immediately to the consumer. As soon as we received their sample, our quality experts began their initial testing. They confirmed that it is mold we quickly shared those results with the consumer and our Facebook community. However, out of an abundance of caution, we asked a leading, accredited food testing lab for a second opinion. Silliker, Inc. confirmed it is mold.
Are you taking a chance in waiting so long and not issuing a recall?
No. An issue with a single pouch does not indicate a broader problem, particularly because we were told from the start it was a leaking package and this product is preservative free. When a leak occurs, a preservative free beverage can spoil and mold can grow. We believe that is what happened here. Because this can happen, we include a message on the carton that consumers should discard any leaking or damaged packages.
How does Kraft Foods know the mold is not harmful?
While unpleasant, it is more of a quality rather than a safety issue. However, we take consumer concerns very seriously so we sent the sample to a leading, accredited lab for testing. They independently confirmed it is mold. Because this product contains no preservatives, when a leak occurs, the beverage can spoil and mold can grow. That’s why discarding leaking or damaged packages is the right step. In fact, we include a message on the carton encouraging people to do this.
So, this is a common occurrence?
No, but it does happen from time to time because the product is preservative free. And that’s exactly why we include a message on the carton that consumers should discard any leaking or damaged packages.
Does the mold form more often in warm weather?
The weather or humidity has little or no effect on whether mold forms in this product. Given that there are no preservatives in the product, even from a microscopic hole can introduce air and mold can begin to form.
What can you do to prevent this?
Adding preservatives would be one option but we know that consumers appreciate that Capri Sun is preservative free. Through the years, we have made adjustments to minimize leaks. However, there’s just no way to guarantee a pouch is never cut or punctured. That’s why there’s a statement on the carton, recommending consumers discard any leaky pouches.
Was cost the only consideration in not issuing a recall?
Not at all. The safety of our products and the well-being of our consumers are our highest priorities. Based on some previous incidents, we were reasonably certain the problem was mold. This was confirmed by an independent lab. It’s more of a quality issue related to leaking packages than a food safety issue.
Is Capri Sun made in China?
No. Every Capri Sun that is sold in the United States is produced in the United States. U.S. labeling laws require that we reference the country of origin (in this case China) on the package when apple juice concentrate is sourced from there. We source as much of this ingredient as we can from the United States, but there’s not enough available here to meet our needs. Please be assured that regardless of origin, all ingredients we use in Kraft Foods products comply with our rigorous food safety standards, which meet, and in many cases exceed, the government’s requirements.
Who are Claire and Anne-Marie? Are they real Kraft Foods corporate employees?
Yes, Anne-Marie and Claire are Kraft Foods employees and moderate this Facebook page. They’re here to answer your questions. http://www.facebook.com/KraftFoods?v=app_17037175766
Does Kraft Foods understand why I am worried?
Absolutely. We regret this situation and understand that it is unpleasant. Many of us are parents, too, so we care about what our kids and your kids drink. The safety of our food and the well being of our consumers are critically important to us. And we’re doing everything we can to address the situation as quickly as possible.
Some consumers are outraged because Kraft did not issue a widespread recall of the Capri Sun product.
The FDA apparently did not think it was a big enough emergency to alert the public and do a recall when they were notified of it. The FDA has their Alert to Recall process listed on their site at:
Kraft has been updating the issue on the Kraft Facebook Page.
My kids occasionally drink Capri Sun, but I have always actually cut the pouches and drained them into their spill proof cups. So, I wouldn’t have a problem with continuing our regular practice with Capri Sun.
What do you think? Will your kids be drinking Capri Sun?
Lady V dZine