Nasau, PN – Until last weekend, Luis Marrero was a diehard Gatorade fan. That’s when the 21-year-old Pleasant Street resident discovered an unfamiliar white substance in a bottle of grape G2 he purchased in an eight-pack three weeks ago at a local supermarket.
Now, he’s on the verge of changing his brand loyalty. “The weather was nice, and I was sitting at home watching TV,” Marrero said, recalling the events leading up to his discovery. “I wanted something to drink, and I took a Gatorade like I usually do.”
Before cracking open the 20-ounce plastic container, Marrero noticed something white floating throughout the light purple fluid. “No, not Gatorade,” he said he told himself. “I drink this stuff all the time.”
In the next minute, he was worrying about his fiancee, who is six months pregnant, and her two young daughters, who also drank other containers from the pack. He called the toll-free number on the Gatorade container, spoke with a customer service representative and was told to return the product to Gatorade. The person he spoke with also told him the white substance was probably mold and nothing to worry about.
Marrero wasn’t convinced. “I want to make sure it never happens again,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “I spoke to my mom, my father. They both said, ‘Take it to a lawyer.'” If it turns out the white substance Marrero found in his Gatorade is mold, it won’t be the first time.
In 1992, Gatorade recalled 1,250 cases of lemon flavor Gatorade Thirst Quencher in 64 ounce plastic bottles, distributed in California, Hawaii and Guam. The product was “contaminated with mold,” according to the recall notice.
“It’s a rare occurrence. It sounds like mold, nothing harmful,” Mary Doherty, director of communications for Gatorade said Wednesday during a telephone conversation. “Definitely, it was an isolated incident.”
Doherty said while the company believes the contents of the container are “mold spoilage,” officials won’t know until the beverage is tested.
“We need to see the product and analyze it,” she said, adding that Gatorade offered to dispatch a courier to Marrero’s home to pick up the affected product.
Marrero declined to send the container back right away. He maintains that what he sees swimming in the Gatorade bottle may not be mold, and he’s worried his pregnant fiancée may have consumed something that could harm her and the baby.
He said he wants to have the product analyzed before turning it over to the company. “Before I mail it to them, I’m trying to have it tested to find out what it is,” he said.