Howell, Mich. (Daily Press & Argus) -- Emmie Field usually takes the first sips of her son Carter's CapriSun drink because at 18 months, he has a tendency to spill it when it'sfull.
She's never been more glad aboutthat than Sunday, when she sucked up what appears to be a white wormthrough the thin yellow straw.
"I spit it out in the sink," she said. "There wasn't enough mouthwash in the world to get the feeling out of my mouth."
TheHowell Township woman said when she called the company, representativestried to pass off the worm as mold, but she said, "Mold doesn't have ahead like this or wiggle."
Fieldsaid she purchased the drink last week from the Walmart in Fowlerville.Carter and Field's 4-year-old daughter, Ryleigh, already had consumedtwo other pouches out of the same package as well as all of the pouchesin a separate box purchased the same date.
"Ofcourse I called the doctor and asked if this is something I need to beworried about," she said. "The doctor said they should be fine unlessthey start puking."
Laboratoryofficials contracted by Kraft Foods are set to visit Field's home on Friday to test the worm, which she said is still moving in a sealed plasticbag.
Kraft Foodssubmitted a written statement to the Daily Press & Argus. Thestatement says the company can't be sure without examining the pouch inquestion, but in many cases when it's thought that a "worm" is foundinside a Capri Sun pouch, it was mold. "The mold takes the form of astraw, which can then be mistaken as a worm since it is long and thin,"the statement reads.
Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling said Field's finding appears to be an isolated incident that hasn't affected other customers.
"We'recommitted to providing customers with safe, quality food," she said."As soon as we heard about this incident, we contacted our food-safetyteam and reached out to Kraft (Foods), the supplier."
Walmart is awaiting more information from Kraft Foods before taking any action, she said.
Finding mold in Capri Sun pouches is an issue Kraft Foods addresses on the product's "frequently asked questions" page.
In response to a question, "Why is there mold in Capri Sun?" thecompany responds that it's "extremely rare" but can occur because thedrink does not contain any artificial preservatives. The fact Capri Sunis made without preservatives is "something many moms appreciate."
Field said she doesn't purchase the drink for its wholesome properties.
"Honestly,that stuff doesn't cross my mind," she said. "It's just cheap, and theycome in a pack that's good for traveling. I work at Costco, and Iusually get them from there."
Accordingto Kraft Foods' website, the food mold can grow inside a pouch that hasbeen punctured and is exposed to air. The mold is similar to what mightgrow on "fruit or bread," and there are no "significant or long-termhealth affects associated with consuming this type of mold."
Inresponse to "Why don't you use clear pouches?" the website reads: "Inthe past, combining different packaging materials has created uniquechallenges but we're always examining options that could lead to apermanent solution."
TamaraWard, food enforcement actions spokeswoman for the U.S. Food and DrugAdministration, said if the object is a worm, it would be a safetyviolation.
The FDAencourages consumers to file "adverse event" reports with the agencywhen a violation is in question. Each report is looked into by medicalofficer to "see what kind of actions we can take."
Ifaction is deemed necessary, Ward said, the FDA would conduct aninspection. A suspected violation of the Food and Drug Cosmetic Actwould result in the issuing of FDA Form 483, which is basically acitation, she said. Companies then are required to produce and implementan corrective action plan. Failure to do so would result in a warningletter, which is published on the FDA website for public viewing.
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