An 18-month-old girl was left with a burned mouth and a raging temperature – after her mum claimed she drank a bottle of faulty fruit JUICE.
Demi-Leigh Crofts, 24, gave Khaleesi-Leigh Walker an apple and blackcurrant Jucee drink as she watched her stepson play football last Friday (31/3).
The full-time mum, of Carlton, Nottingham, noticed later that evening that Khaleesi-Leigh was struggling to eat her dinner and had a raging temperature.
She and partner Paul Walker, 39, had bought the drinks last Monday (27/3) when they saw them on offer for 49p for a six-pack at a branch of Farmfoods.
They snapped up seven crates, each containing 18 packs.
Demi-Leigh said: “Normally Khaleesi has Fruit Shoots, especially at night.
“I don’t give them to her everyday, but it’s very hard to get babies to drink at night, and Fruit Shoots seem to do the trick.
“When I was out shopping that day I noticed the Jucee drinks were on offer, with a sell-by date of late April. I bought them and just thought nothing of it.
“Khaleesi had one on Friday afternoon at around three in the afternoon, and when we got back at six I noticed that she was having problems eating.
“She had an absolutely raging temperature too.
“I’m one of those mums that really worries, so when I saw that I had a panic.
“Every time she’s ill I take pictures, so that I can remember what the problem was and how we fixed it.
“But I hadn’t ever seen her be like that before.
“And then I opened her mouth, and saw the blisters all over her lips and white spots on her gums.
“I had no idea what was going on, I was terrified and very concerned.”
The anxious mum rushed off to Tesco to buy ice-lollies for her daughter, which helped ease the pain and bring her temperature back down to normal.
Khaleesi-Leigh’s mystery illness puzzled her GP, who gave her paracetamol and Nurofen.
It wasn’t until Monday (3/4) that Demi-Leigh realised the potential cause of her daughter’s condition – when she tried some of the “acid” juice herself.
She said: “On Monday morning, I got her a drink and I was a bit thirsty, so I drank a bit as well.
“The taste was unbelievable. I smelled it and the first thing that came to mind was a nail shop – acetone or something.
“Paul smelled it and he said it smelled like petroleum.
“It was at that point that I put two and two together and started to question whether it was the drink.
“We put some of the juice from the bottle into a glass, and dropped a penny in there.
“It came out lovely and shiny, so it must have been acidic.
“With my daughter being so poorly with blisters in her mouth, it makes me wonder whether it was the juice.
“She couldn’t eat properly for about four days because of the blisters. They eventually went on their own.”
Demi-Leigh immediately took the bottle back to the Farmfoods store she had purchased it from, where she lodged a formal complaint.
She has also contacted Jucee and the environmental health section at Gedling Borough Council, who are conducting tests on the bottle.
Demi-Leigh added: “It was just those two bottles that had a problem, the rest of them seemed to be fine.
“But nonetheless, I threw all the crates away. I didn’t want them anywhere near my daughter again.
“I need to know what was in that drink, I need to know why my daughter was poorly and had blisters in her mouth.
“I’m just so thankful that I tried some of the bottle before I gave it to Khaleesi-Leigh again. Otherwise who knows how poorly she may have been?”.
A Jucee spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of this incident on Tuesday and have contacted the customer so we can investigate further.
“We have apologised for any distress this has caused and will keep the customer informed as our inquiries proceed.”
A spokeswoman for Gedling Borough Council said: “We are in the process of commencing an investigation into a complaint received at midday on Tuesday.
“As the investigation is in its early stages we cannot confirm if a breach of environmental health legislation has been committed.”