“It’s all I drink, coconut water,” Barbara Kline, a New York mother of two, told BuzzFeed News. “Well, not anymore.”
Kline became extremely ill after finding an “octopus-looking thing” in her Vita Coco coconut water in late April, suffering from vomiting, diarrhea and an asthma attack. It turns out, that “octopus-looking thing” was a huge chunk of mold.
“When I took a big gulp, I swallowed a chunk of something,” Kline recalled the incident. “It tasted very thick and syrupy. It was disgusting. After I opened it up, I heard things jiggling inside. And I thought, ‘That doesn’t sound right.’ I took a knife and opened it up, and that’s when I discovered those octopus-looking things.”
“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,” Arthur Gallego, Vita Coco’s global director of corporate communications, said. “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.”
Kline, who insists she never lets her Vita Coco sit for more than a day and a half in the fridge after opening, said the company offered to come pick it up from her house, but she declined, adding, “Why would I give them the only evidence I have to protect myself?”
Instead, Kline plans to sue Vita Coco, but she says she cares more about getting answers than getting money.
“Money is nothing to me right now. My health is more important to me,” she said. “I’m in it for clarification and to know if I just inhaled or drank something that’s deadly. All I want is an answer. I want clarification that I’m okay.”