Tommee Tippee Sippee Cup Recall Issued Following Mold Complaints, Facebook Campaign
More than three million Tommee Tippee Sippee spill-proof cups have been recalled due to concerns that mold may grow inside the cup’s valve, which has resulted in thousands of consumer complaints and dozens of injuries nationwide involving children who may have been sickened by the mold.
The Tommee Tippee Sippee cups recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on May 27, after the manufacturer received at least 3,066 complaints from parents or caregivers involving mold growth in the removable, one piece valve inside cups. To date, at least 68 children have reportedly become ill with mold ingestion symptoms, including respiratory issues, vomiting and diarrhea.
The cups are being recalled due to the potential for the removable white valve inside the cup to allow mold to grow, which would not be visually detectable unless the valve is pried open. The mold growth stems from the valves trapping moisture from the liquids that pass through the cup if not thoroughly cleaned.
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Concerns about the sippy cup mold problems have generated increasing attention on social media websites in recent months, with parents indicating that they were unaware that the valve on the underside of the lid could even come apart to be thoroughly cleaned. There were no apparent directions that the valve needed to be opened and cleaned.
The CPSC initiated an investigation after parents brought national attention to the issue, resulting in the latest recall. The CPSC is advising parents to remove the recalled sippy cups from children immediately, as mold ingestion to children at very young ages can result in serious gastrointestinal issues and infections that may compromise the immune system.
The recalled includes five types of Tommee Tippee Sippee spill-proof cups including First Sips Transition cup, Trainer Sippee Cup, Sippee Cup Cute Quips, Sportee bottle and Insulated Swiggle/Sippee tumblers. The recalled Sippee cups are spill-proof and have easy-grip side with detachable handles. The cups are made of a clear plastic and were sold with a variety of colored lids and character prints with some of the cups including short phrases on the front stating “You Pour I’ll Fling” or “Drink Drop Repeat”. The cups have a 7 to 10 ounce capacity and were sold for children between the ages of 4 to 12 months.
The cups were manufactured in China under Mayborn USA Inc. of Norwood, Massachusetts were they were sold at BuyBuy Baby, CVS, Giant, Kohl’s, Marco Baby, Marshalls, Meijer, Sam’s Club, Ross Stores, Target, Bealls Outlet, Walgreens and Wal-Mart as well as other major retail stores nationwide as well as online at Diapers.com, Amazon.com, and Babyhaven.com from December 2014 through May 2016 for between $4 and $7.
According to the CPSC recall, an estimated 3.1 million impacted sippy cups were sold throughout the U.S. and another 227,000 were distributed for sale in Canada.
Sippee Cup Recall Spurred By Social Media Outrage
Earlier this year in February, parents and caregivers began posting horrible depictions and pictures of black mold growths inside of the plastic valves on Facebook and other social media websites. They warned that their children had been drinking through these valves for several months or longer before discovering the mold.
Several of the complaints posted on Tommee Tippee’s Facebook page indicate that the valve was extremely difficult to remove, with some parents stating it took over 15 minutes either sawing or prying the valve off of the lid before finding the entire valve covered in black mold..
One of the reported injury cases was made by Amanda Townshend, of Lacey, Washington. She indicated she had been using the cups for about 10 months and noticed her 16-month old son almost always had a stuffy nose after drinking from the Tommee Tippee Sippy cups. After seeing social media posts about the mold growths Townshend stated she broke open the valve with a hammer to find it covered in mold. Townshend told CNN that she took her son to his doctor that day, where he was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection the pediatrician said could have been caused by the mold exposure.
Although Tommee Tippee issued an apology statement in February, stating a new line of cup would be presented to the market in the next few months, the company tried to dodge recalling the cups, claiming customers did not read the washing instructions thoroughly to clean the filters. However, the CPSC said the warnings were inadequate, and given the danger of mold exposure to infants and young children, a recall was warranted.
Mold can cause a wide variety of symptoms such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, throat and nose, but individuals with a mold allergy can be affected by much harsher symptoms. Those with mold allergies can experience wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness that may develop into more severe conditions if the exposure is prolonged and left untreated.
Customers with recalled sippy cups are being asked to stop using them immediately and contact Mayborn at 1-877-248-6922 or visit them online at www.tommeetippee.us and navigate to the recall link at the bottom of the page for instructions on how to receive a free replacement cup.
Several complaints on Tommee Tippee’s Facebook page have indicated the wait process for replacement cups has been much longer than the company promised. Several complaints from consumers this month claim they have been waiting on promised replacements since February. Others have indicated the promised 10 day replacement time-frame has expanded over a month or more.
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