Woman finds slimy surprise in carton of juice
Packet drunk - mouldy scunge remainsKIRSTY MCMURRAY
A Taranaki woman is less than impressed after finding potentially harmful rotting sludge at the bottom of a carton of juice her family had been drinking.
Hayley Duggan rang drink manufacturer Frucor after finding a mess of greeny-brown and warty slime in a nearly-empty box of Fresh Up and was not reassured by their explanation.
"They told me it was mould and that it can't hurt you unless you're allergic to penicillin," she said.
Mrs Duggan's husband Carey has a penicillin allergy and had been drinking the juice but suffered no ill effects.
The Duggans' three young children had also been drinking the juice while the family was on holiday in Taupo last week.
"I heard something clunking around in there and had a look in the top and saw this thing. Then we cut the top off and I went straight over and ripped the juice out of the kids' hands. There was chunks in their cups," Mrs Duggan said.
The mould did not smell but was disgusting to look at, she said.
"It looked like a rat or a baby dinosaur. It makes me want to vomit."
Mrs Duggan said Frucor told her the mould in the carton they bought at Countdown in Taupo would have been caused by damage or bruising to the packaging.
"They said it's all airtight, and if any air gets in it goes mouldy because it's a natural product with no preservatives."
She said she couldn't see anything wrong with the carton.
"But I guess you don't know what's happened to it on the way to the supermarket or while it's there."
She also made sure the juice had not passed the use-by date and had not been open longer than the seven-day period recommended by Frucor.
Initially, Mrs Duggan said Frucor offered her a letter and a $5 voucher, but after she rang a third time, they asked her what she wanted and offered a $30 voucher.
Mrs Duggan said she wouldn't be buying anything in a carton again.
Frucor did not return requests for comment yesterday but Countdown's spokesman Luke Schepen said the company was unaware of the problem.
"Obviously we are more than happy to investigate and see what went wrong," he said.
Anyone who had concerns should contact the customer care line or bring the product in to a Countdown store, Mr Schepen said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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