Several consumers in the U.S. have complained about a gooey substance found inside bottles of Vitamin Water they've purchased. One consumer brought his to a lab and the results are in. The liquid beverage was found to contain bacteria and mold.
According to CBS News 8 in San Diego, a consumer alert is being issued on Vitamin Water, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola.
Consumers in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and San Diego have all complained about a "blob" in their bottles of Vitamin Water.
"There was this blob of stuff in my mouth and it was all over my mouth and my tongue and I had to peel it off," Los Angeles resident Saundra Santamarina told CBS News 8. "I panicked and I looked at the bottle and there was this blob floating around in it."
Two incidents of these "blobs" were reported in California. Across the country in Pittsburgh, a separate complaint arose. And one in Georgia.
"It's like something I've never seen before and the taste of it was just terrible. And it made me sick," Joel Kaufman of Pittsburgh told the news outlet. Kaufman indicated he immediately vomited.
"I didn't know if it was some sort of mold that could be harmful or if it was anything animal related. I had no idea," said Brett, a Navy man from San Diego who opted not to include his last name in the News 8 report.
Brett, who said he was hospitalized from his drink last year, brought his bottle of Vitamin Water to a lab. The lab, Ultimate Labs in Sorrento Valley, grew a sample and the findings were mold and bacteria.
"We actually found common bacteria and mold that's found in soil and water in the environment," according to Lab Operations Technician, Lissette Silva, reported News 8. Silva indicated to the media that the contamination could range from contaminated water or dirty conditions in the factory and/or employee hands.
Coca Cola purchased Glaceau, the company that created Vitamin Water, back in 2007. The beverage, and others like it, have sparked some controversy since that time as it is loaded with sugar and some argue the health benefits of flavored water.
Over the past several years, many companies, such as Coca Cola, have been positioning water-based beverages as healthier options and sales are booming in this market.
Additionally, it looks like Vitamin Water may soon have some competition as rumor has it Lady Gaga may be launching her own line of "designer water," reported the Gothamist last month.
Coca-Cola did issue a statement to News 8 regarding the goo found in its Vitamin Water bottles:
At Vitamin Water, we are committed to offering trusted brands and high quality, great-tasting beverages. Vitamin Water does not contain preservatives and, like other preservative-free natural products (such as cheese, jelly, and iced-tea products), contact with outside air over a period of time may cause formation of an innocuous type of mold commonly found in the environment. For Vitamin Water, exposure to outside air can occur in those rare instances when the bottle is damaged in transit or the seal is otherwise compromised. We are happy to work with the consumers who have contacted the station to address their concerns, but we cannot speculate on their situations without further investigation.