Juice boxes filled with...mold?! How you can protect your family

NEW BERLIN (WITI) -- You serve them to your children because they are quick and easy. Juice boxes or pouches are perfect for a family on the go, but a New Berlin family found more than just juice inside!

When the Hogue family sings together, they have to "sign" the words too.

Five-year-old Nathan Hogue is autistic.

"He can't talk, so he had no way to tell me," Nathan's mother, Suzanne told FOX6's Contact 6.

Something was wrong with Nathan's juice box.

"I poked a hole in the juice box and I poured it into his cup for him to drink and poured half the juice box in and everything looked normal," Suzanne Hogue said.

But everything wasn't "normal."

Hogue found mold inside her son's juice box.

"It took up half of the juice box and at that point it was brown, black, green. I didn`t even know what I was looking at at first. I was so shocked when I opened it up. I had no idea what it was. It was so repulsive and it had an odor," Hogue said.

Experts tell FOX6's Contact 6 the mold growing inside Nathan Hogue's juice box can happen to any food product if it is exposed to air.

So in this case, the box must have had a slight hole.

"It is so hard as a mother to see that because your child has already drank half of the juice box and you see what`s in there and it breaks your heart to know that he drank it," Hogue said.

And Nathan Hogue isn't the only one.

After Suzanne Hogue came to FOX6's Contact 6, Katrina Cravy did a quick search online.

Look on YouTube and you'll find people all over the country complaining, and showing what they've found inside their drink boxes and pouches.

It really doesn't matter the brand. The problem is the packaging.

You can't see inside to know whether the juice box has gone bad.

Kraft's Capri Sun is making a big change. New pouches that just came out this month have a clear bottom -- so you can see inside.

One of the frequently asked questions on Capri Suns website says: "Did you make this change in response to mold?"

The company says: "We made the change for several reasons. Moms across the country told us they like that Capri Sun juice drinks are made with no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, but wanted the ability to see inside the pouch. The clear bottom makes it easy to verify that the Capri Sun kids love contains all the goodness moms expect and nothing they don`t."

The Milwaukee Health Department says: "Other than for individuals with medically diagnosed mold hypersensitivity or allergies, mold ingestion via food products is typically not associated with severe health symptoms."

The Centers for Disease Control, and Suzanne Hogue's pediatrician told her to wait and see if Nathan got sick.

"The thing that was scary was they told me it could take up to a week for him to get sick, so for the next week I would watch him like a hawk," Hogue said.

Luckily, Nathan didn't get sick, and most likely, you won't either -- but if you don't want to be grossed out about what's inside -- Contact 6 advises smelling the drink first, and if you're really concerned -- cut the box or pouch open first.

It's a simple step Suzanne Hogue says she will take from now on.

"Before this happened, I didn`t pay that much of attention to the boxes because I never thought something like that could happen until it actually did," Hogue said.