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Kraft says 'sorry' to burn victims after defective Tassimo systems spray hot coffee

By Ben Bouckley , 27-Feb-2012

Kraft says 'sorry' to burn victims after defective Tassimo systems spray hot coffee

Kraft Foods has apologised to US and Canadian customers after a manufacturing flaw led to Tassimo T Discs spraying consumers with hot liquid and coffee grounds, leading the firm to voluntarily recall around four million discs and almost two million machines.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that, as of February 9, there had been 140 reported incidents of Tassimo brewers spraying consumers, and 37 associated reports of second-degree burns, including one involving a 10 year-old Minnesota girl who was hospitalized after receiving second-degree burns to her face and neck.

Second-degree facial burns

Further consumer complaints related specifically to the plastic T Disc pods used in the Tassimo system, with an additional 21 reports of injury, one affecting a 2 year-old Canadian girl who received second-degree facial burns.

A Kraft Foods spokeswoman told BeverageDaily.com: “For both recalls, we’re working in full co-operation with the regulatory authorities. Our consumers’ safety is our highest priority, and we apologise to our consumers who have been affected by these recalls.”

On February 9, Kraft issued a voluntary recall of certain code dates of Tassimo Espresso T Discs – Maxwell House, Gevalia and Nabob brands. Health Canada said that around four million packages of the affected espresso discs were produced between last August and February 2012, and sold in retailers in the US and Canada.

Massive recall

Tassimo Single-Cup Brewers (around 835,000 in the US, around 900,000 in Canada) with the Bosch brand name and ‘Tassimo Professional’ brewers were subject to a separate recall; the CPSC said that the flaw potentially affected brewers made between June 2008 and February 2012.

“This defect can cause the recalled Espresso T Discs to become clogged and spray hot liquid and coffee grounds onto consumers during or after brewing,” Kraft said.

The firm told customers to stop using the plastic discs immediately, and but said it had received separate consumer reports that the T Discs could burst “and spray hot liquid, coffee grounds or tea leaves onto consumers using the Tassimo by Bosch brewer, as well as bystanders, posing a potential burn hazard”.

Kraft said it had worked with the machine manufacturer, California-based BSH Appliances, both on the recall, and to develop a replacement T Disc holder.

“Consumers can easily remove the existing holder from their Tassimo by Bosch brewer and snap the new one into place. This should take less than a minute,” the spokeswoman said.