This is much worse than a little spoiled milk: A woman in New York claims she fell violently ill for days after accidentally consuming what looks like a giant “squid-like” clump of mold inside her sealed bottle of Vita Coco coconut water.
Since Vita Coco’s packaging is opaque, Barbara Evelyn Marie of Goshen, New York, could not see at first that there was anything wrong with her bottle of coconut water. But when she took a first sip on April 25, she swallowed a “clump” of something. That’s when she immediately dumped out the water and opened the packaging with a knife. Horror-stricken, she saw the unidentifiable object that came slithering out, which looked like either particularly-slimy mold, or an animal of some sort.
In the days following, Marie reported vomiting and diarrhea, which she assumes is related to the consumption of the unidentified object.
“I feel absolutely sick to my stomach even talking about it,” Marie told U.K. tabloid The Sun. “I know there is some type of animal in there. I’ve got told it looks like a mouse, I got told it looks like a squid, I got told it looks like a bunch of things — that’s why I would like for somebody to get it tested for me that has more authority than me.”
Marie sent a sample of the bizarre clump to Vita Coco, but she is also planning to have some of the material examined by a third party.
“Vita Coco employs the highest standards of food safety at all its production facilities and our beverages are quality- and food safety-tested internally, and also by an external quality control specialist, before being distributed,” a spokesperson told The Sun. “However, because Vita Coco beverages do not contain preservatives, on rare occasion, random spoilage may occur.”
UPDATE: Vita Coco has released a statement to The Daily Meal in response to this incident:
"It is highly unlikely what this consumer claims she found in her Vita Coco poses any health risk," says Arthur Gallego, Vita Coco's global director of corporate communications. "Vita Coco is a preservative-free beverage made from naturally-occurring ingredients. While the consumer has yet to return the product for testing, this looks like typical food spoilage. This consumer's product was likely left opened, improperly refrigerated or damaged, and after reviewing the images she has posted, we are confident it is mold growth."