If you give your kids Fruit Shoots you’ll want to read this. After drinking the summer fruits version of the popular fruit-flavoured drink one young girl was rushed to hospital with sickness, diarrhoea and a “burning throat.”
Ellie Robinson-Smith, 10, took a bottle of Fruit Shoot from a multipack, took a gulp and realised straight away it didn’t taste right. She handed it to her mum, Sammi Smith, to try, who told real-fix.com, “I opened the lid to smell it and it smelt really bad. I wanted to throw up straight away. I tried it and it was absolutely disgusting.
“It was supposed to taste like summer fruits but instead tasted and smelt like nail varnish remover or cleaning fluid,” Sammi, from Gravesend, Kent, continued. “I was so worried. We had no idea what it was.”
She dialled the number on the bottle and was told to send a sample to makers Britvic for testing.
Over the next hour or so, Ellie became extremely ill with a burning throat, sickness and diarrhoea. Her mum called emergency services who told her to take Ellie to the nearest A&E department without delay.
“I was panicking,” said Sammi. “By the time we got to the hospital it had been a couple of hours since Ellie had the drink. The nurse I gave the bottle to was really worried about her. We poured some of the drink into a test tube and there were little white bits floating around.”
After carrying out an ECG and observing Ellie for a few hours, medical staff decided she was well enough to return home. But over the next few days she and Sammi had severe diarrhoea and stomach pains, resulting in Ellie missing three days of school.
An investigation has now been launched into the incident and, while the lab results are still pending, Britvic say they think the bottle was contaminated with a Penicillium-type mould, which can cause sickness.
According to the company if the mould reacts with preservative in the drink it can produce a very strong “petrol or chemical” taste and smell.
Sammi, who purchased the 48-bottle multipack of Fruit Shoot from the Thurrock branch of Costco, revealed her experience on Facebook and her post has now been shared over 50,000 times.
Another parent, Debbie Hobden, said in response to Sammi’s post that her 6-year-old daughter, Tallulah Kerens, had suffered a similar thing after drinking a summer fruits-flavoured drink. Tallulah had headaches, a sore throat and mouth ulcers and felt sick, causing her to miss school for a week.
Both Ellie and Tallulah drank from bottles with the same best before date — July 2016.
In a statement Britvic said, “We can confirm that the unpleasant taste and smell is the result of mould reacting with the preservative in the product. The product in this state is not harmful if consumed, however we appreciate that this was an unpleasant experience for Miss Smith and her daughter. This is an industry wide issue, which occurs in very rare instances in uncarbonated soft drinks, which contain fruit juice. Fruit Shoot contains fruit juice and, as with any fruit containing soft drink, if exposed to air, there is a possibility of mould growth. We have now been able to confirm the nature of the issue with Miss Smith and express our sincere apologies. (sic)”