About a week ago I posted a blog on demand about a peculiar mould found in Capri Sun . The 5 1/2 cm growth is peculiar to be sure, but now there are ridiculous web rumours about the growth ranging from shellfish to human remains, all of which are untrue. Both Melissa Weigand-Brown and Danielle Nuzzo of Kraft have emailed me regarding the post. It is my position that parents should certainly inspect commercial food and beverage products prior to consumption because whether it occurs at the factory or afterward, contamination does occur.
Both Kraft and the concerned mum are concerned aboutfalsehoods perpetuated by our instant media culture, and here are the replies .
We noticed your recent post about Capri Sun and Kraft Foods asked that we reach out to you and share some information about the situation. I’ve attached an FAQ document that has some information that might be of interest to you and your readers. We will have more information in the coming days but I wanted to pass this along to you ASAP to address your concerns.
360i on behalf of Kraft Foods
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 and quickly shared those results with the consumer and our Facebook followers. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are also working with an independent lab for additional analysis of the sample. It will take some time to get those results. Unfortunately, scientific analysis is slower than the pace of communication today.
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 and have sent the sample to an independent lab for additional analysis. 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. 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, which is 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.
In reply to numerous web-based rumours, Melissa Weigand-Brown released the following :
WE HAVE NEVER SAID ANYTHING BAD ABOUT KRAFT. WE WANT PEOPLE AWARE THAT THERE COULD BE MOLD IN YOUR CHILDRENS JUICES!!!! I AM STEPPING UP AND DOING THE RIGHT THING BY MAKING PEOPLE AWARE!!! I THINK KRAFT SHOULD SWITCH TO CLEAR POUCHES, SUCH AS YOU CAN FIND MADE BY MINUTE MAID, AND MY SECOND CONCERN IS THAT MOLD JUST DOESN'T SPAWN OUT OF THE BLUE... See More. THERE HAD TO HAVE BEEN A MOLD SPORE THAT GOT INTO THE POUCH, MOST LIKELY DURING PROCESSING WHEN THE POUCH WAS PUNCTURED, WHICH KRAFT HAS ADMITTED TO THAT THIS HAPPENS. IS THEIR MACHINERY CLEAN AND SAFE???? MOLD DOESN'T APPEAR OUT OF THE BLUE. MY CONCERN AT THIS POINT IS THAT WE SUSPECT THAT A MOLD SPORE WAS MOST LIKELY ON THE MACHINERY THAT PUNCTURED THE JUICE POUCH AND THAT'S HOW THIS GOT STARTED. AND NEED I REMIND EVERYONE THAT WE ARE HAVING AN INDEPENDENT LAB DO DNA ANALYSIS. KRAFTS LAB IS THE ONE STATING THAT IT IS MOLD. THE JURY IS STILL OUT FOR MY FAMILY. ONCE AGAIN I AM GOING TO ASK THAT KRAFT ISSUE A RECALL FOR CONCERNED CITIZENS. WE MEAN NO MALICIOUS HARM OR INTENT OR TO SCARE THE PUBLIC. I COULD NOT GET A COMMENT ON WHAT TYPE OF MOLD THAT KRAFT FOUND FROM THE SAMPLE THAT WE VOLUNTARILY GAVE TO THEM.... WE HAVE BEEN IN COMMUNICATION WITH KRAFT DIRECTLY. WE ARE COOPERATING WITH THEM. ALONG WITH THE SPECIMEN WE GAVE THEM, WHICH WAS APPROXIMATELY 1/3 OF THE "THING" IN MY DAUGHTERS JUICE, WE ALSO GAVE THEM THE BOX IT WAS PACKED IN SO THAT THEY WOULD HAVE LOT NUMBERS IN HOPES OF A RECALL. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS BOX OF APPLE SPLASH 100% JUICE SAT IN OUR AIR CONDITIONED HOME AFTER IT WAS PURCHASED. THE BOX WAS NOT WET, THERE WAS NO LEAKING JUICE IN THE PANTRY, IT WAS ONLY UPON OPENING THE BOX OF JUICE AND PULLING OUT THE TOP POUCH THAT MY HUSBAND FELT THE STICKY POUCH. WHAT WAS A SMALL HOLE IMMEDIATELY BECAME LARGER FROM THE PRESSURE OF PICKING IT UP, ASSUMABLY BECAUSE OF FERMENTING GASES INSIDE THE BLOATED PACKAGE. IT IMMEDIATELY STARTED GUSHING ON THE COUNTERTOP AND FLOOR. MY HUSBAND RUSHED IT TO THE SINK TO SIMPLY EMPTY IT AND THROW IT IN THE TRASH. IT WAS THEN THAT WE NOTICED A FERMENTED ALCOHOL SMELL THAT QUICKLY CONSUMED OUR ENTIRE DOWNSTAIRS OF OUR HOME. AFTER THE POUCH WAS DRAINED MY HUSBAND NOTICED IT STILL FELT HEAVY, SO HE FELT OF IT AND FELT A LARGE SOLID OBJECT INSIDE. HE YELLED FOR ME TO GRAB THE CAMERA AND TAKE PICTURES AS HE SLICED OPEN THE POUCH WITH ONE OF OUR KITCHENAID KNIVES. WE WERE IMMEDIATELY IN SHOCK AND AWE AS TO WHAT WAS INSIDE. PLEASE LOOK AT MY PUBLIC PHOTO ALBUM FOR THE PICTURES. THE ALBUM IS ENTITLED CAPRI SUN. WE ARE WAITING FOR DNA LAB RESULTS, WHICH TAKE TIME. I ASK THAT EVERYONE PLEASE BE PATIENT ON WAITING FOR US TO GET THE RESULTS BACK. MY MESSAGE IS THAT THERE ARE PROBABLY THINGS KRAFT CAN BE DOING TO KEEP THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN. ALSO THEY DECLINED TO COMMENT TO ME, PERSONALLY, ON HOW MANY OF THESE REPORTS THEY HAVE. I AM SIMPLY NOT SATISFIED AT THIS POINT WITH KRAFTS RESPONSE. WE ARE NOT BOYCOTTING KRAFT, WE'RE NOT SUING KRAFT.... WE'RE A HUMBLE MILITARY FAMILY OUT FOR CHILDREN'S SAFETY AWARENESS! IN FACT, FOR DINNER LAST NIGHT MY DAUGHTER, WHO IS 4.5, ATE KRAFT MACARONI AND CHEESE.... HER FAVORITE :)
While some things can indeed be unusual, both sides of this odd incident have been subjected to rumour and conjecture and it is fair to disspell them and offer both sides their opportunity to take the floor.
While my post (found HERE ) did have a bit of a comedic bend, parents need to be continually aware and if something doesn't seem quite right, they should find out more.
Melissa Brown NEVER claimed to want to sue Kraft, only a desire for answers that all parents should be entitled to.