Burn injuries spark recall of popular coffee brewer

Serious burn injuries suffered by a 10-year-old girl, and others, have led to a massive recall of approximately 1 million Tassimo Single-Cup Brewers, used for making coffee.

The girl was reportedly helping her grandmother make coffee with the device when it exploded and sprayed scalding hot liquid on her, requiring hospitalization. She suffered second degree burns which disfigured both her face and neck. Surgery and synthetic skin grafting were also required to attempt to treat her burn injuries.

This was not an isolated incident. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission and a similar agency in Canada reported receiving 140 incident reports in which use of the product caused consumers to be sprayed with coffee grounds, tea leaves or boiling hot water. In no less than 37 of these incidents, consumers suffered second-degree burns.

The recall is being applied to 835,000 of the devices in the United States market, as well as another 900,000 which were on store shelves in Canada.

Inside the brewer is a plastic disc filled with either tea or coffee to make a single cup serving of the desired beverage. While the concept is intended to be convenient for the consumer, the unanticipated consequences of burn injuries are far from convenient for the victims.

The CPSC has urged consumers who may have one of the single cup brewers in their home to cease using it, for the safety of themselves, their family and visitors to their homes.

Some have questioned why the brewers were not recalled earlier, in light of the fact that there were many reports of injuries from the machine’s use posted on the Internet, and that the burns suffered by the 10-year-old girl took place over a year ago.

Source: ABC News, “Massive Recall of Tassimo Coffee Brewers After 10-Year-Old Burned, Hospitalized,” Alexandra Ludka, Feb. 9, 2012