Tommee Tippee, an international baby products manufacturer, is under fire after a handful of parents reported finding mould within their children’s sippy cups.
Penny Powell, from France, posted several photos to Facebook of different cups, all with mould building up in a section that’s meant to hold the mouthpiece together.
“My friend wondered why his son was still sick so he broke open the anti-spill guard of his Tommee Tippee glass and discovered mould inside the anti-spill top that you can’t see except if you break it open. . . . He has washed it with his hands and in the dishwasher and the mildew has stayed anyway,” Powell wrote in her post.
Several parents have left their own photos of mouldy pieces on Tommee Tippee’s France Facebook page, there are a number of customers countering, saying that their child’s cups have been easy to clean and that there has been no evidence of mold.
Tommee Tippee France addressed the issue on its page:
“We are always very attentive to your feedback, comments, ideas and the way in which the parents use our products and their children the experience. . . . We understand that the well-being of your children is of paramount importance, and we assure you that we have tested the valves of our cups, and the results have clearly confirmed that when the instructions for use and cleaning are followed, all works correctly. In addition to our instructions for use of cups, we have prepared a list of FAQ to help you to clean your cups and their valves.
We always welcome parents’ feedback, comments and ideas. We continually develop our products and look for ways to improve them, so feedback from parents is vital to us. Positive feedback tells us we’re doing the right thing, but just as importantly, like all companies, we learn even more when negative experiences are brought to our attention.
We’ve sold millions of Sippee cups and have had some very positive feedback. However, we know from visitor posts that a few people have not had a good experience with the valve part of the cup. For this we sincerely apologise and we are actively following up on any concerns raised.
We understand that the wellbeing of little ones is paramount and we can reassure all parents that we have extensively tested the valves. We have also been testing them with a panel of 140 mums in the United States.
The results support that when used with recommended liquids (cold, light fluids including water and non-pulp juices) and cleaned in line with instructions, there are no problems. Difficulties have arisen though when liquids that are not recommended for use in the cups have been used, like thick formula milk, pulpy juice and warm liquids. We also recommend that cups are not left for long periods before being cleaned.
However, we do understand that there may be other factors that are difficult to replicate in our testing, so our Careline team would like to speak directly to any parents who are experiencing problems. This will allow us to hear their views, and replace the cup with an alternative of their choice. The number to call is 0 800 10 07 25 FREE.
We’ve also prepared a page on our website to help parents care for their cups and valves.
Additionally, the company recommends the cups only be used with cold fluids — including water and non-pulp juices — rather than thick or warm liquids, such as milk or pulpy juices.
Though the brand seems to be doing what it can to get the issue under control, it may be a good move to check your child’s sippy cups — regardless of the brand or its origin it is a great reminder to make sure that mould isn’t building up in any of the pieces.
Sistema Twist ‘N’ Sip drink bottles where also in the news recently for a similar issue.
A UK dad issued a warning to other parents to inspect reusable water bottles with a mechanised cap after finding the lid of his daughter’s Sistema Twist ‘N’ Sip drink bottle was “hoarding bacteria”.
When Craig Beresford’s seven-year-old daughter became sick with an upset stomach and “occasional runs” for weeks at a time, they realised her water bottle was the only constant item in her routine.
Sharing his concerns on Facebook, Beresford wrote: “Today, I took a sharp knife and broke the cap apart. It isn’t designed to be taken apart and requires a bit of force to disassemble.
“The internal components have been hoarding bacteria. We were horrified and heartbroken that out little girl had been using this bottle in this state.”
Beresford points out that he has be cleaning the lid every day with boiling water as well as sterilising and air drying the cap before each use.
“It’s probably wise that you inspect any of these type of bottles with a mechanised cap. Not just Sistema brands, but anything that pops-up or twists,” he added.
The company has responded to parents’ fears over bacteria growing in drink bottles.
“Recently a number of our customers have advised us that they are having difficulty cleaning our Twist ‘n’ Sip drink bottle caps,” said a statement on the Sistema website.
“We take this feedback very seriously and have therefore posted on our website (www.sistemaplastics.com) videos and instructions that demonstrate how to take apart and clean each of the three tops we currently have on the market.
“We manufacture our tops to meet international child safety standards and it is for this reason they can be difficult to disassemble.”
To clean the water bottle Sistema recommends:
Removing the cap from the bottle after use
Extend the lid to open
Put the top either in the dishwasher or hand wash and then place in water for five minutes with a sterilising solution.
For parents wanting to disassemble their water bottles, visit the Sistema website for videos on how to clean each lid type: Twist ‘n’ Sip, Davina and the Wave & Gripper.
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