People Are Finding Huge Clumps Of Mold In Their Coconut Water

Branding - LFW September 2016
Getty Images | Tim P. Whitby

If you drink coconut water, specifically the Vita Coco brand, you might want to switch things up. Why, you ask? Because one poor, unsuspecting woman found a revolting glob of mold so large it looks like a baby octopus at the bottom of her bottle of coconut water. And now, people are extremely grossed out.

The woman in question is Barbara Kline, a self-professed coconut water devotee. Loyal to the Vita Coco brand, she became violently ill in April after drinking some of the coconut water that had the massive mold growth in it.

“When I took a big gulp, I swallowed a chunk of something,” Kline told BuzzFeed News in an interview. “It tasted very thick and syrupy. It was disgusting.”

When she dumped out the unflavored coconut water from the bottle, she saw it was a strange color and immediately became suspicious. She decided to open the bottle and look inside.

“After I opened it up, I heard things jiggling inside,” Kline said. “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.”

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Kline said she immediately vomited upon finding the mold growth and has suffered an asthma attack, vomiting and diarrhea since drinking the contaminated coconut water. Then she posted the photo on Facebook (warning, the photo is pretty gross).


“I haven’t had an [asthma] attack in like 10 years. Now, all of a sudden I have one?” she said. “God knows if it’s from the mold.”

Because she says she is allergic to mold, Kline immediately went to the doctor to get checked out, but all her tests came back negative. She also asked the FDA to test the mold, but they declined because they only collect “unopened or intact products for laboratory analysis.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Vita Coco said the substance was likely mold growth.

“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 told BuzzFeed News.

“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,” Gallega said.

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But Kline isn’t the only person to have issues with moldy bottles of Vita Coco coconut water. Plenty of people have called out the brand online with the same complaint. It’s unclear whether or not this is a systematic issue or simply a few cases of coconut water that were handled or stored improperly.


All I know is that I’m going to switch to coconut water that comes in clear packaging.

About the Author

Jessica Suss

An aspiring food and health writer, native Chicagoan, and nut butter enthusiast. Jessica is also the creator of BiteMeBlog, but don't call her a foodie More.

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