Claim: Mold has been discovered in packages of Capri Sun fruit drink.
Examples: [Collected via Facebook, February 2013]
Origins: The above-referenced warning about a consumer finding mold inside a container of Capri Sun fruit drink was posted to Facebook in February 2013 and echoes similar confirmed incidents consumers have experienced with Capri Sun products in the past few years.
In July 2012, two families in Virginia Beach, Virgnia, reported containers of Capri Sun drink that did not taste right and showed evidence of mold formation:
Jaquan Harbison told his aunt something wasn't right with his Capri Sun.
"It tasted nasty," Harbison said.
"It really tasted like champagne," [his aunt Shaneka] Bellomy said.
Two days earlier, a Virginia Beach mom [took] a picture of what she said she found when she pulled the straw out of her son's Capri Sun.
[We] contacted Kraft Foods, and Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs Bridget MacConnell.
"Our experience has shown that because the product has no preservatives, which is a positive for most moms, if air does get into the pouch even through the smallest hole, fermentation can begin and mold can grow," MacConnell said.
A small warning on the side of the box reads: "Capri Sun contains no preservatives. Do not drink if pouch is leaking, damaged, or swollen as fermentation can occur."
Bellomy said she never noticed the warning and she and her nephew did not notice the package was swollen.
[We] found what appeared to be a small hole in the side of the pouch where air could have entered the pouch. There was no mold when Bellomy poured the Capri Sun out, but there appeared to be some type of residue on the inside of the pouch.
Kraft Foods said the mold that can grow inside of the drink is similar to common bread mold.
"Generally speaking we believe it's not harmful," MacConnell said. "It might make you sick to your stomach and if it did, I would suggest that you speak with your family health care provider."
A nurse at Virginia Poison Center confirmed the mold could give you a stomach ache but would not be poisonous or toxic if ingested.
In February 2012, for example, a Pennsylvania woman maintained she found a glob of mold inside her daughter's Capri Sun drink:
“Very gross looking, and then if you turn it, you can see little black particles,” explained Ashley.
Stephanie asked Emma, “what did you think when you saw it?”
Emma replied, “Ew, it was gross.”
The 8-year-old says it didn't taste funny, and it didn't make her sick.
Ashley got online and quickly found a litany of complaints about mold in Capri Sun drinks.
“I’m concerned about my daughter's health, about kids drinking this and if they're at risk,” said Ashley.
Ashley says she found out online there can be undetectable holes that allow air inside the pouch. And on the Capri Sun box, there’s a warning that says if the pouch is damaged, fermentation can occur. But there’s no way to know if this is inside until you take a sip.
In January 2012, a North Carolina boy found a slimy object his mother believed to be a worm inside a Capri Sun container:
"He went to go take a sip of the drink and he started choking," said Christina Stewart. "So he pulled the worm out of his mouth and he was like, 'Oh mommy, this is nasty.'"
Stewart said she called Kraft Foods, the parent company of Capri Sun.
"She was like, 'Well, I'll just give you your money back, like it wasn't a big deal," said Stewart.
Stewart took her son to the doctor, showed him the juice pack, and the slimy substance she was convinced was a worm. She said the doctor also thought it was a worm, and he sent it to a lab to be tested to know for sure.
Kraft Foods, the parent company of the Capri Sun brand, stated the "worm" was likely a mold formation, a phenomenon sometimes found in packages of Capri Sun that have been accidentally breached, as the product is made without preservatives:
Kraft later confirmed and reiterated this information on its web site's Capri Sun FAQ:
Mold that forms on food and beverages is usually a common mold. It's generally much like common bread mold, though it may look different depending on where it forms. And yes, it can be ugly, gross and totally unappealing.
It would be great if foods stayed fresh forever. But the basic laws of science and nature dictate that most foods eventually spoil and get moldy.
Philadelphia television station KYW-TV reported that despite its appearance, the type of mold found in damaged Capri Sun products probably would not cause harm if accidentally ingested:
Last updated: 17 April 2015
Maynard, Holly. "Mooresville Boy Finds Worm in CapriSun Drink." WSOC-TV [Charlotte, NC]. 24 January 2012. Stahl, Stephanie. "Capri Sun Mold Warning from Local Mom." KYW-TV [Philadelphia]. 9 February 2012. Woodrow, Melanie. "Families Voice Capri Sun Complaints." WAVY-TV [Portsmouth, VA]. 6 July 2012.