Friday, February 8, 2013

Has Your Capri Sun Juice Turned Into A Caipirinha?

Capri Sun juice. Mold. Sounds like a good cocktail to serve your kids?

I just saw this warning on Facebook about mold an American mother had found in the Capri Sun juice her son was drinking. Apparently, the kid had said it tasted "funny". The mom tasted it and the juice was like straight alcohol! When she poured the juice into a glass a huge mold clump came out.
Here is her pic:
We have Capri Sun in Saudi too and I buy Capri-Sun because it has no preservatives or added colors and of the ones available it seemed to be the best option. Juices are a special "treat" my kid gets for picnics etc. They come in many different flavors and can be stored in room temperature.

So I went to check our stash of apple flavored Capri Suns which I had a box full of stored in the cupboard and an additional two in the fridge. All had expiration date 23rd March 2013. They were packaged 24th June. Ten months?? That's really an optimistic estimation isn't it, keeping in mind there's no preservatives. How did the company come up with this? How is the juice is supposed to stay fine in there for that long in room temperatures? Our house is air-conditioned so this would've remained in about 21C temperature the few months we had them.

How did I not figure this one out before. No preservatives + room temperature 10 months=BROBLEM.

I will have to blame my mommy brain.
Anyways I'm so glad I went and checked. Because WHOA the ones I had in the cupboard had fermented and turned into an apple cider rather than a juice! The smell of alcohol was really strong. The two in the fridge were fine but I still dumped them out just in case.
Wait a minute.
No wonder my daughter had weird look on her face when she was drinking one the other day. Oh dear Lord, I gave my baby an alcoholic drink! Bad parenting 101 anyone? I feel so guilty now. Now I understand why she slept so soundly that day..
I drugged my baby with "natural juice".
Capri-Sangria, anyone?

I also cut open the packages to check if there was any visible mold in there. Thank God there wasn't! I threw everything away and won't be buying these anymore though. What a shame they don't come in clear packages so people could check for anything out of the ordinary in them. The only way I would get these anymore is if I had a freezer big enough to store them in.

That reminds me of a field trip my daughters daycare recently arranged. Daycare field trip! How exciting! To the Riyadh zoo maybe? An amusement park? To a compound pool? Horse stables?


Of all places they decided to go to CAPRI SUN JUICE FACTORY.
When I was a kid we went to a licorice factory. A chocolate factory, even a cookie factory. But a juice factory? Yawn.

My friend went and she told me it was such a waste of time. There was some totally clueless guy showing them around the factory. His tour sounded like this:

 "Ummm, this is where we make the juice" (pointing at a large juice barrel)
"Ummm, this is where we add the preservatives"(pointing at another barrel)
"Any questions?"

End of tour.

My friend was flabbergasted by the expertise of the guide. She's also a fan (or probably now an EX fan) of Capri-Sun because of the "no preservatives, no additives, all natural" thingy going on. So naturally, (no pun intended) she was amazed to hear the guide pointing out the place where the preservatives are added and decided to ask about it.

Friend: "I thought Capri-Sun is additive-free?"
Capri-san: "No, it's not ma'am."
Friend: "But it says on the juices there's no added preservatives, it says all natural."
Capri-san: "But ma'am this is where we add the preservatives. Any other questions?"
Friend: "Umm...No."
Capri-Sun. Naturally fermented alcoholic drink.

Stay away! Unless of course, you're looking for a cheap way to make home-made booze.

P.S. I don't regularly give my kid packaged juices, they are only for very rare occasions. And I think from now on we're done with them altogether.

Yahoo news reporting about the mold problem in Capri Sun juices:


Kristine said...

LOL! you have the most interesting things happen to you. Good thing you saw that article and checked the juice. You should have saved it and served it to your husband for a real 'Saudi cocktail'. :-O

Anonymous said...

The company could get into lots of trouble for false advertisement.
Is it so hard to make healthy fruit drinks with all the technology out there? arrrr

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the warning!

marwah said...

İ live in turkey, and we have smilar troubles, too. The best thing is to product the sauces and juıces at home. At lesat i prefer that.. I do not like buying the products which i can produce myself at home.. Even if they do not contain something like alchol or sth againist to İslam, contain protective materials..This is the problem of our age.. As you say we should stay wawy.. Thank you for warning...

johanna_dxb said...

Yippee, apple cider ;)

Jerry Mc Kenna said...

Good article. Food safety is an important issue (in the US not just in Saudi Arabia).

Noor said...

Oh that is just gross I will never buy these again. I will tell my in laws about this also.

Anonymous said...

even you have good eyes you need glasses to read whats in it ....some of the E 000s are natural but others are not ,you must to be a chemist to find out whats in there. Make everything for children by your own and read in the supermarket the small letters

Anonymous said...

Practically speaking, not much can withstand the blazing Saudi summers. Room temperature is probably at a standard (24 maybe) or maximum for safe storage. So I am guessing that your batch may have been happily fermenting in the weather. I try and keep most things stored in the fridge/freezer in the summer, except for grains etc.
I have used capri som for years, not because I think that it is particularly healthy ( because NO packet fruit juice is 'healthy') , but only for convenience and because I have been gullible to fall for the 'natural ' label. Indeed a lesson for us to go the real natural way!
I have had experience with off packet drinks, more I think to do with the fact that the pack may have been accidentally pierced, or some seal is faulty etc. This may explain how the mould got into the American caprisun.
I have also bought Quaker wholegrain rolled oats (made in the UK)from Carrefour that are full of weavils (twice it has happened) and written to complain, but as the oats are in cardboard cartons with no inner plastic bag it may be again due to storage issues somewhere along the line.

nicole said...

i can't help it--i had to crack up laughing at "No preservatives + room temperature 10 months=BROBLEM."

Anonymous said...

Hi Layla,

I have a question that is not quite relevant to this post, although it is a very gross yet interesting post.

But do you know why there are suddenly so many Saudi students in the United States schools right now? And not only that but my experience with them is that they are very standoffish and surprised that I (A Bengali-American) am more highly educated than they are. Are they racist towards the race of my parents in the kingdoms or something? I am very confused lol. I know Bengalis are very poor, but they are still Muslim, and these attitudes should not be practiced- especially in America where they merit hard work over race.

Layla said...

MArwah-I agree we should produce everything at home..but sometimes us moms just simply don't have the time and it's easy to use the ready made stuff. Of course we all want our kids to have the most healthy and nutritionally beneficial diets.

Layla said...

You're right, no package juice surely is "healthy" and I would only use these in so called "emergency" cases when going out for a picnic or as special treat because I know my daughter likes to drink juices. But I rather give her just water and milk.
Anyways, I didn't have these for the actual 10 months, got this package I think few months ago when it wasn't hot anymore (our house was actually very cold for a month or so) so definitely they hadn't been exposed to heat in my house. The question is rather, how do the shops here store them?

Layla said...

Hmm, I really can't answer your question as to why there are so many suddenly? Am guessing they increased the amount of stipends given out?
Anyhoo, unfortunately some Saudis do have this racist attitude toward certain nationalities,they are used to having Asians as maids, drivers, dong the so called "dirty" work and are unable to see these people in other professions.. you are most likely the first Bengali they have met who is NOT their gardener or street cleaner!
Sorry you had to experience that, but remember that not all Saudis have this attitude!

Layla said...

I guess the only REALLY healthy option is a home made freshly squeezed juice, which some of us don't have the luxury to make everyday!

Layla said...

lol I'm sure someone will try this at home here in the "dry desert"

Layla said...

the package says: juice concentrate, water.

Layla said...

thanks Jerry!

Layla said...

ya it is..spread the word..

Layla said...

Kristine-"interesting" things happen here all the time lol

Anonymous said...

Food storage in shops is definitely a problem here I have bought any number of things within date to get them home and find they are off, it is either in the shop or the import method. Also I tend to buy in bulk when I see things as there is no guarantee they will be in again any time soon. In my experience Tamimi is about the best of a bad lot when it comes to importing.

lucrezaborgia said...

See, as a native American English speaker, that sentence to me says that it doesn't contain any artificial preservatives. You don't have to keep repeating artificial before each word to have it apply to words further down in the sentence.

Layla said...

I don't know which sentence you're talking about or to whom this comment is to elaborate?

Unknown said...

I can't believe some people think this product is a good choice for their kids because of the lack of preservatives. Ummm... what about all the added SUGAR in the product? You do know it is basically sugar water with a tiny amount of real juice, right? It is terrible for children, and should be banned. There are lots of local Saudi juices that are 100% pure juice without added sugar (again, check the labels please), so what's the problem with them, in moderation or as treats? Parents, please don't give your children this Capri-Sun nonsense!