BABY product manufacturer Tommee Tippee has launched an investigation after numerous parents claimed they’d found a black “mould” in the internal pipes of its formula preparation machines.
The company released a statement saying it’s “concerned” by the reports surrounding its Perfect Prep machines – and has promised to carry out a full investigation.
Parents have come forward in their droves on social media, expressing their anger and feelings of being let down by the company. Tommee Tippee said, however, that initial investigations show that the build-up could be carbon residue which is “harmless”.
The Perfect Prep machine claims to be a convenient and fool proof way of preparing bottles of formula, but the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has already warned against using prep machines. It says on its website: “The FSAI does not recommend the use of automatic machines to prepare bottles of powdered infant formula because there is insufficient data available to verify the safety and efficacy of these machines.”
The FSAI recommends instead that parents use cold tap water that has been boiled once and then cooled for no longer than 30 minutes to >70°C to make formula so that the bacteria present in formula can be killed. It is thought that the prep machines may not sufficiently heat the water to make the formula sterile and safe for babies.
In a statement, Tommee Tippee said: “We’d like parents who’ve found similar build-up to contact us as soon as possible, so we can arrange to have your machine and filter returned to us via Freepost for examination. Until we’ve investigated, it’s hard to determine the cause, but we’d advise anyone with concerns to contact us.”
A spokesman for the company added: “Our preliminary investigation has found two things. Firstly, the build-up we’ve seen so far we suspect is carbon residue and not mould. 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.”