Girl Rushed To A&E After Drinking Fruit Shoot That 'Tasted Like Oven Cleaner'

Girl Rushed To A&E After Drinking Fruit Shoot That 'Tasted Like Oven Cleaner'

A 10-year-old girl was rushed to A&E with sickness, diarrhoea and a burning throat after she drank a Fruit Shoot that "tasted like oven cleaner".

Ellie Robinson-Smith gulped a few mouthfuls of a summer fruits Fruit Shoot and noticed it tasted odd, so gave one to her mum Sammi Smith to try.

Mum-of-two Smith, 29, said: "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 oven cleaning fluid."

Ellie Robinson-Smith noticed something was wrong as soon as she tried the drink

As soon as Smith, from Gravesend, Kent, tried the drink, she dialled the number on the bottle and was told to send a sample to Britvic, who make Fruit Shoot, so they could test it.

Over the next hour, Ellie became seriously unwell, complaining of a burning throat, sickness and diarrhoea.

Smith called 101 and spoke to an operator who recommend they go to A&E at nearby Darent Valley Hospital, in Dartford, Kent, straight away.

She said: "I was panicking. 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.

"He was running around showing all the nurses. They had no idea what was in it.

"They did an ECG on Ellie straight away and wanted to do observations on her."

After some hours, the nurses decided the results of Ellie's observations looked healthy, so sent her home.

However Smith said for the next few days, her daughter suffered from severe diarrhoea and stomach pains meaning she had to miss three days of school.

Smith contacted her local council, Gravesham Borough Council, who passed the complaint on to Thurrock Council.

Smith then met with an Environmental Health Officer and showed her the bottle. At this time, an investigation was launched.

Smith said the drinks were not due to expire for another six months.

"If Ellie's little sister, Heidi, had gotten hold of that bottle, she would have gulped it all down," said Smith.

"If you gave it to a young child they wouldn't necessarily spit it out. That's what worries me."

While the drink was being investigated, Smith wrote a Facebook post warning other parents about what happened, which has been shared by more than 50,000 people.

After reading the post, mum Debbie Hobden came forward to say exactly the same thing had happened to her six-year-old daughter after she sipped a summer fruits-flavour drink.

Tallulah Kerens suffered headaches, felt sick, and had a sore throat and mouth ulcers. As a result, she missed school for a week.

The bottle had the same best before date as the one which made Ellie sick - July 2016.

Hobden, 43, who bought the drink from her local Londis in Westleigh, said: "Tallulah took a swig and said, 'it doesn't taste very nice'.

"I opened it up and smelt it. It smelt like cleaning fluid or nail varnish remover. It was really strong. My friend also had a smell and she said it burnt her nose.

"I didn't think any more of it and Tallulah went off to school on the Monday. When I picked her up she was quite poorly.

"She was off for the rest of the week with an ulcer and a sore throat.

"Luckily, Tallulah only had one mouthful. She was quite thirsty so I'm just relieved she didn't gulp it all down."

Hobden said she called the customer service line and advisors told her they would send a courier to collect the bottle.

The mother of three added: "I didn't even dare taste it. It was disgusting. I'm really worried about what was in it.

"I would never buy them again. It has really scared me."

Britvic said they launched an investigation on 4 January after Smith sent them the Fruit Shoot sample.

They 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."

They agreed to refund Smith the price of the 48 bottles - £20.