Parents certainly haven't been shy when it comes to using social media to expose defects with their kids' products—including some Tommee Tippee products. First it was moldy sippy cups. Then it was problems with pacifiers. And now, it seems, some moms and dads are at it again, after discovering "mold-like slime" and black grime in their Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep milk machines.
The machine—which is not sold in the U.S. but is popular in the UK—is used to make formula for babies and is popular with parents because it is able to whip up a heated bottle in less than two minutes. Pretty cool! But does that convenience come at a price?
"After all the raised concern recently about the perfect prep machine, I decided to dismantle mine after my 8 month baby has been so poorly for weeks with a terrible sore cough," mom Julie Hughes wrote on Facebook earlier this week. "I am DISGUSTED in what I just discovered... I trusted your company and machine. My baby boy has been up every night for weeks now with respiratory problems and we have visited the doctors several times over the last month. Upset, disappointed and angry are just some of the emotions I feel after opening the machine up."
We SO don't blame you, Mama!
It took two days, but Tommee Tippee responded to Hughes's post in the comment section: "Thanks for sharing this with us. We apologize for the time taken to reply and do hope your little one is feeling better. You may have seen our recent post and are keen to investigate this further. To do so please can you kindly drop us a PM and we will endeavor to get back to you as soon as possible. Many thanks."
Parents.com reached out to Tommee Tippee UK for comment and received the following statement: "We were very concerned by these findings and started an immediate investigation. To help us, we’d like any parents who have found similar build-up in their Perfect Preps to contact us as soon as possible, so we can arrange to have their machine and filter returned to us via Freepost for examination by an independent laboratory. Until they’ve been examined, it’s impossible to determine the exact cause.
"However, our preliminary investigation has found two things. Firstly, the build-up we’ve seen so far we suspect is carbon residue and not mold. Carbon is a harmless, inert bi-product of the filtration process. Secondly, some parents have told us they’ve used ordinary water jug filters instead of the Tommee Tippee filters. Standard filters do not contain the ultra-filtration membrane needed to remove bacteria, plus are more likely to release carbon into the system.
"Although we can’t be certain until we’ve received back and examined more machines, it is possible these factors are linked to what people are seeing. However, the investigation will continue until we’ve found answers."
The company also stressed that this issue has only been seen in the UK.
Tommee Tippee is encouragining anyone with questions or concerns about the Perfect Prep to call its Careline at 1-877-248-6922 or visit its Facebook page.
There, other parents have been following Hughes's lead by taking apart their Perfect Prep machines, and then posting pictures of their findings.
"On opening it, the tubes looked totally clear, with no sign of mold or discoloration," wrote Facebooker Julie Herd.. "However, after opening the tubing up and taking a totally sterile cotton bud along the tubing I was disgusted to find slime/mold beginning to form. This is absolutely disgusting. My little girl has been regularly ill ever since she was a tiny baby. Now this may have not been the sole reason, but I'm sure it wont have been helping when her immune system was already weakened! Furious."
And from mom Nicole Cleugh: "Three emails we have sent you regarding our machine and still no reply to any. This is getting ridiculous now because there is no way of getting through to you on a phone nor are you replying to any of my emails. Machine was an absolute godsend but now to think the damage I could have been causing my baby giving him bottles from this mold is absolute sickening to me."
Again, if you have questions or concerns about the Perfect Prep, call the Careline or visit its Facebook page.