Aldi offers refunds after mom finds mold in child's snack pouch
When you're a mom to three busy boys under age 6, convenience wins almost every time. Pouches packed with fruits and vegetables seemed like a 'no-brainer' for Ashley Lamb until she and her 2-year-old son made a startling discovery.
"He came running back in, 'It's yucky. It's yucky!' and spitting, and he normally doesn't spit, and he was just spitting and drool running everywhere," Lamb said.
The favorite Little Journey Apple Mango pouch had a large clump of mold inside.
"I was really struggling to not gag. I felt so bad that my little guy, I couldn't imagine what had been in his mouth, and I hoped, as soon as he tasted it, he spit it out," Lamb said.
The popular product for kids is now missing from local Aldi store shelves. Lamb reported the mold immediately and, as of Thursday, the pouches were not under recall but were no longer available at the store in south Springfield.
Dietitian Tylane Garrett points out this is not the first instance of mold being found in the toddler favorite.
"There can also be mold on the sides, and there is some bacteria that is invisible. There's transparent mold around mold," Garrett said.
Other brands, including Plum organics, have dealt with mold issues before.
"When you twist it, it's locked. It's completely locked, that it hasn't been opened prior. I also would squeeze to make sure there's air," Garrett said in advising parents on how to check pouches at home.
Garrett said parents should do what they can to safeguard their kids. She said, however, there could be problems in manufacturing, transit, or in the store itself before the purchase is made.
"We're done with pouch food for good," Lamb said.
The local Aldi store manager told KY3 the store had not received any pouches from the supplier in the last three days. The pouches are not available at the store on Battlefield Road at Jefferson Avenue.
Thursday evening, Aldi issued this statement:
"ALDI takes the safety and integrity of the products we sell very seriously and our Little Journey baby line is no exception.
"Our Little Journey Organic Food Puree pouches are USDA certified organic and contain no artificial preservatives. While extremely rare, if a pouch is punctured and exposed to air, mold can grow. It was brought to our attention that this occurred with pouches that were available for purchase at our Springfield store located at 421 E. Battlefield. Out of an abundance of caution, we have removed all Little Journey Organic Food Puree pouches from our store shelves in the Springfield area.
"We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this situation may have caused. If a customer has any concerns about this product, we encourage them to visit their local Springfield ALDI store and we’ll gladly refund the purchase price of the Little Journey Organic Food Puree pouches."