For the love of your kids – cut open your juice boxes!

This happened to me a few months ago, but I didn’t have a blog then so I’m posting about it now. Please feel free to share or re-blog to spread the word!

Juice boxes. A lot of Moms and Dads buy them. They are super convenient for when you’re on the go. Just take that straw, jab it in the little tinfoil perforation area, hand it over and you’ve got a happy kid. A happy kid, yes, but potentially a sick one.

I am lucky enough that my mother watches little L every day while I work. We do the usual routine – I bring her to Gramma’s, we get a snack ready together, give a big hug and a kiss goodbye and I’m off to work.

It was just a regular Monday, so we arrived at Gramma’s. We started getting the snack ready. We had one juice box left out of a five pack. At the time it was well within the expiration date (this happened months ago, remember). My mom said “You know, she’s been on such a juice kick lately and isn’t getting as much water as she should. Maybe we should cut that box open, pour it into a sippy cup and dilute it with water?”. Sounded like a good plan to me, so I cut open the corner and poured it out.

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD – THIS IS NOT JUICE!!!

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What poured out was a putrid mix of sludgey swamp water. There was a mold mat in the bottom that had congealed to the shape of the square juice box. It was beyond rancid.

I FLIPPED OUT.

It was the last box out of a five-pack. How the hell do I not know the others weren’t like this?
What if I was like any other person out there who just pierces the box and let’s their kid drink it. How sick would she be right now?

I called the company and lost it. I called the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as well. They picked up the box, the “specimen” (because who the hell on their right minds could call it juice at that point?” and they started their investigation.

I should say, that the manufacturer (Oasis juice) was just as horrified as I was. They were beyond cooperative, and were glad that I reported it to the Food Inspection Agency.

Apparently this can only happen if air is exposed to the juice. This could be in the manufacturing process. It could be during transport if it is bumped microscopically. It could have been in the grocery store itself if it were mishandled. As soon as the mold mat forms, it “plugs” up the microscopic hole and you don’t notice a leak.

So let this be my lesson for the day – stick to clear bottles that allow you to actually see the product. For the love of God, please cut open your juice boxes from now on!

You just never do know, and your kids health is not worth the convenience.

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37 thoughts on “For the love of your kids – cut open your juice boxes!

  1. Good of you to call the CFIA! I do think this is really rare though. My brother used to drink boxes and boxes of juice for when his blood sugar got low (juice boxes were the recommended sugar source from the IWK) and we never saw this. Maybe just take the first sip from now on to ease your mind? And also the the added bonus that she’s less likely to spill all over herself if she grabs the box too tight…don’t you love it when that happens.

    • About them squeezing it all over themselves…I have taught my little one to grab it by the little triangular side flap things. I un-stick them, take the first sip and then hand her the juice box, telling her to take it by the flaps. Wa-la no spill 🙂

  2. Thank you for posting this. I am glad your little one is ok! I am going to stick to the juice boxes in the foil pouches from now on. They seem more durable (and less risky than this, by the looks of it).

    Nice layout/design of your blog, by the way. It is very eye-friendly. Have a great day!

    • I’m afraid capri sun isn’t any safer; just google capri sun mold.
      That said, I’d still drink a juice box, or give one to my son, once in awhile. I like to live dangerously. 😀

  3. Oh my gosh. This makes me incredibly sick to my stomach. Especially since I JUST gave Oasis Apple Juice Boxes to my boys on our drive from NB to MB last week 😦 I think I am going to have to find a different way to give them juice on our trip back out east!! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Stick with the clear bottles. That way you can actually see the juice. Yes, you’d have to pour it into a sippy cup and it is less convenient, but at least you can physically see that they aren’t drinking swampy formed mold mats. So gross!

      • I don’t care too much about the inconvenience of it.. I would prefer knowing they aren’t consuming mold. Yuck. So glad neither of them were sick on the drive for any reason, otherwise Mommy guilt would be kicked in high gear! As it is, I am worried they might still get sick if something was wrong with any of the juice boxes they got. I don’t care how rare it is, it’s gross and scary.

  4. Pingback: For the love of your kids – cut open your juice boxes! -A Reblog- | Momma Needs Coffee

  5. this is horribly tragic! but you managed to make me laugh so hard regardless! I do always take the first sip of my kids’ so they don’t squeeze it everywhere, but I sure don’t want to brave that first sip of ‘specimen!’ and I’m not giving it to my kids if I won’t drink it either.

    • Not trying to ruin the company – like I said they were very cooperative.
      I could happen to ANY juice box regardless of brand.
      It could have been in the manufacturing process, yes, but it could have also been during shipping, or while at the grocery store itself.
      It’s hard to find out HOW it happened, but it CAN happen. That’s the whole point of this blog.
      It wasn’t something I was aware could happen to a juice box.

    • The company won’t be ruined because of this blog. It wont even see a hiccup in sales. people will simply check the juice boxes for a while and after a while, when the fear is gone, they will stop checking..

  6. I’m sorry, I must be slow today but I don’t understand… This “mold mat” is this put in every box by the manufacturer just in case it spills? I’ve never seen this and I’ve cut open many juice boxes and poured into cups for the kids because diluting the juice is something I always do. Is there a chemical reaction to something in the packaging that makes a mold matt form??

    • The mould mat forms in a juice box when air is somehow exposed to the juice. Sometimes that can happen during the manufacturing process if it isn’t sealed fully, or it can occur during shipping/storage if it is banged or bumped. The “holes” are usually microscopic and not visible with the naked eye, and the mould mat acts as a seal so you never notice leaky juice.

      This is what the gentleman from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency told me. He also said it happens more frequently than you would think.

  7. I can’t stand juice boxes. In university almost 20 yrs ago, something similar happened to someone I knew. Completely threw me off juice boxes. Since having my own children, I use them sparingly for that reason, bc I can’t see what is inside, and I don’t trust anything moist that can sit on a shelf for a long period of time. Kids take water school, and we go for juices not from concentrate.

  8. A similar thing happened to us earlier this year. A 10 pack of orange juice boxes ALL gone bad/rancid. Lucky for us my kids are old enough to know it tasted bad and told me. I tasted it and was horrified. I poured it into a glass and was even more horrified. The color was dark, the juice smelled rotten and had white floaties in it. Like you I flipped out and called the store from which I had purchased it (it was their brand but produced by Oasis), the juice company and CFIA!!! They all told me they would be investigating but who knows! We got a letter of apology from the juice company saying the too were very concerned and that they were looking into it. I just don’t know. For us the whole package was affected. I imagine a whole juice batch had to be affected for this to happen. They denied other complaints. Still concerned after reading your post. My 4 year old uses clear refillable drink boxes only.

  9. WOW. That is unreal. When my daughter was in about 4th grade I stopped sending her with juice boxes to school. Only water, or something I packaged myself. This was just to stop the constant consumption of sugar that fruit juice is pretty much made of. But this is another great reason! I’m sure it’s a very isolated incident, but seriously — the less packaged stuff we give our kids the better 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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