New York

Woman Claims ‘Octopus'-Looking Sludge in Coconut Water Made Her Sick

Vita Coco said in a statement the substance was likely mold growth

A New York woman says she was horribly sickened by a "freaking octopus"-looking sludge that somehow found its way into her Vita Coco coconut water.

Barbara Kline, of Goshen, wrote on Facebook that she vomited persistently and had diarrhea after inadvertently swallowing a piece of the slimy squid-like substance while drinking the fancy beverage, her favorite drink, on April 25. 

She posted an image of the alien-looking substance to Facebook, writing, "I still can't believe this I'm so disgusted it's the only water I ever drink I will never in my life drink it again ... It looks like a freaking octopus just looking at it makes me sick."

Kline said she went to the doctor and got bloodwork done; she didn't update her post with the results of the tests but told BuzzFeed they were negative.

Arthur Gallego, global director of corporate communications for the New York-based drink maker, told BuzzFeed the substance was likely mold growth.

"Vita Coco is a preservative-free beverage made from naturally-occurring ingredients," Gallego told the website. "While the consumer has yet to return the product for testing, this looks like typical food spoilage." 

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"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," he added.

Kline told BuzzFeed she bought the water at a grocery store near her home less than seven days prior to consuming it. She also said she followed company guidelines for refrigeration, which call for open drinks to be put in the fridge and consumed within 48 hours after opening. 

She also said she's highly allergic to mold, which could possibly have accounted for some of the reaction if that was in fact the substance.

The woman told multiple media outlets that she did not immediately plan to give the sample back to Vita Coco for testing (the company sent her a box she could return it in and asked several times for her to send it back) because it was her "only evidence" in the case. She told the New York Post she was keeping it in her freezer until she felt it was a good time to hand it over.

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