FACT CHECK: Did Horizon Organic Fruit Snacks cause a “burning” injury to a woman’s tongue and mouth?

Claim:   Horizon Organic Fruit Snacks caused a “burning” injury to a woman’s tongue and mouth.

  UNCONFIRMED

Example:   [Collected via Facebook, June 2015]

FROM A WOMAN IN WILTON just now: WARNING!! I just bought this product at Stop & Shop in Wilton,Connecticut tonight. I just opened the bag and popped one in my mouth and my entire mouth started to burn as I took my first two chews. I ran to the sink and spit it out and as I did the smell of chemicals flew up in my face. My tongue is numb and burning and raw. When I called the 800 number on the box, it referred me to a medical emergency phone number. I called Stop & Shop as well. Please, if you know someone Who uses this product, or if you have them in your cupboard, please don’t give them to your children. These are literally disintegrating and melting in the package as I am now looking at it. I’ve had to suck on an ice cube to keep my tongue from burning off. As much as I hate pills I’m going to take a Benadryl because my tongue and mouth are swelling. Please warn others! Check all of your fruit snacks from this company before serving them. I reported this to Adam, who answered the medical emergency line for this company.

Origins:    On 13 June 2015, a Facebook user published a status update and photographs (shown above) claiming that Horizon brand Organic Fruit Snacks had caused somewhat vague injuries to someone who consumed them. The status update was shared by an uninvolved party and not the unidentified consumer.

According to the poster, the Horizon Organic Fruit Snacks incident described happened “just now” and befell “a woman in Wilton [Connecticut].” No other information was shared about the circumstances under which the subsequent adverse reaction occurred.

Precisely what may have occurred is unclear. The unnamed woman described an immediate physical response to consuming the snack pictured, and multiple possibilities could be inferred from the message’s scant detail, including an allergic reaction to the product, contamination (in a processing plant, at the point of purchase, or even at the consumer’s home), or some type of reaction or other malady coincidental with but unrelated to the consumption of Horizon Organic Fruit Snacks. The message described a “chemical smell” emanating from the uneaten remainder of the product, which could (for instance) be chalked up to something as simple as a leaking container of cleaning products stored above the snack food.

Several Facebook users shared the status update on Horizon’s official Facebook page. In response, a Horizon employee identified as “Aubrey” stated:

[T]hank you so much for contacting us. We take this very seriously and have been in communication with the consumer, and are investigating the issue as quickly as we can.

As such, Horizon is aware of the complaint and is taking steps to investigate it. We were unable to find any reports of adverse reactions to Horizon Organic Fruit Snacks matching those described in the warning.

Last updated:   17 June 2015