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Tommee Tippee launch investigation after parents claim mouldy Perfect Prep machine made babies ill

Baby product company Tommee Tippee have released an update following their investigation into the Perfect Prep machines

Last week, UK-based baby product company Tommee Tippee announced that they were conducting an investigation into their formula milk machines, Perfect Prep.

This came after they were flooded with complaints from angry customers whose children had become ill after using the machines, which were then found to have mould in.

The company concluded that the machines were not to blame for the children's illnesses.

The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine (Credit: Amazon)

One mum who blamed the machine for causing her daughter to be hospitalised wrote an angry post on Facebook which has now been shared over 45,000 times.

Chloe Darkes, from Cardiff, was prompted to check her Perfect Prep machine after hearing about another mum whose child had been ill as a result of using the machine.

She wrote: "After reading about the woman whose little girl has been ill due to the Tommee Tippee Prep machine, I asked my partner to check ours as Isla-Jo has been in and out of hospital with an 'infection' that doctors couldn't find where it was or what was causing it.

"This resulted in her having four lumbar punctures, uncountable bloods taken, a kidney scan, five or more trips to the hospital, a drip in her hand for over five days each time she's been in hospital, which kept collapsing so nearly resulted in her having to have the line in her scalp and also her breathing being affected by all this - and to my horror this is what we have found."

Chloe added that she always cleans the machine thoroughly: "I clean this prep machine even before the lights would come on, never ever used the cheap filters always the correct ones. Always descaled it the correct way (used instructions every time).

"The mould is so thick that my partner had trouble pushing it out of the pipes with a cotton bud! I'm so angry it's unreal, since I stopped using this prep machine my daughter hasn't been ill since or even had to visit the hospital so it shows it's down to this!"

Another mum, Lisa Marshall, from Wigan, also posted photos of her machine on Facebook, alongside the post: "A friend tagged me in a post on Facebook earlier today about a lady finding mould inside the tubing of her Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine and saying her baby had been poorly with 'viral infections' and other things for as long as she could remember.

"I thought I'd take mine apart to give me peace of mind... You can imagine how horrified I was to see that the tubing in our prep machine was filled with mould too! I broke down in tears straight away. I was mortified - I have made my poor baby poorly for all these weeks! Nine weeks she's been snotty and congested. Six weeks she's had a cough and has had medication for bronchitis and croup but each week the cough has gotten worse to the point it sounds like she's going to be sick and is then struggling for breath!"

Lisa posted this photo of her Perfect Prep machine which could be seen to have mould in (Credit: Facebook/ Lisa Marshall)

"She's also been sick and had loose nappies in this time too - it's no wonder she has been so poorly! I'm absolutely fuming and still so upset about it! I have ALWAYS changed the filter and have ALWAYS ran cleaning cycles/de-scaling cycles when the lights have flashed following the official Tommee Tippee video instructions online.

"It's absolutely disgusting that this can happen and since googling it, there seem to be a number of similar cases. You put your trust in big companies and things like this happen. I've been so upset about it all day, the fact that I've been making my baby bottles through mould ridden tubes.

"When reading up about mould, it says it can cause stuffy and/or runny noses & sneezing, problems with breathing, wheezing, coughs & asthma. It's back to the good old traditional way of making feeds and let's hope that my poor baby girl starts feeling better soon. Tommee Tippee you have some explaining to do!!!"

Lisa's adorable 10-month-old daughter is thankfully getting better (Credit: Facebook/ Lisa Marshall)

However, Tommee Tippee have refuted these claims, and concluded that their machines are in fact not dangerous to children.

The statement read: "We'd like to thank all parents for their patience, whilst we carried out our investigations into concerns about some Perfect Prep machines. We're pleased to advise that we now have an update for you, which includes some additional ways to clean your machine.

"After extensive discussions with the filter manufacturer, we remain 100% confident that it is impossible for bacteria to enter the pipework through the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep filter."

The company then blame the use of filters that are not made by them. They said: "We are aware - because you've told us - that some affected machines have at some point been used with a non-Tommee Tippee filter. Other brands do not contain the ultra-filtration antibacterial filter needed to remove bacteria, which could lead to bacteria and visible (but harmless) carbon deposits forming in the pipes. Even if a non Perfect Prep filter is used only once, it can allow bacteria into the system.

Many parents have complained to Tommee Tippee after their children became seriously ill (Credit: Getty Images)

"However, we do know that some mums who say that they have only ever used the Tommee Tippee filter, are still seeing build-up.

"If this is the case, it is possible that bacteria has entered the pipes through accidental cross-contamination. It's easy for this to happen, but, don't worry, this can be remedied with the cleaning cycle described below, and by taking some simple additional preventative every-day steps when changing the filter and cleaning your machine."

Their advice for cleaning the machine is as follows:

  • Run a first cleaning cycle with a sterilising solution such as Milton or food grade white vinegar
  • Run a second cleaning cycle with water as per the normal recommended cleaning cycle instructions - our tests have shown that doing this will remove any build-up or carbon deposits
  • You can then continue to use your machine as normal with confidence.

The went on: "However, it is very important that your everyday routine includes simple hygiene steps such as keeping formula away from the hopper and only ever holding the top of the filter. A full update of instructions and support on cleaning the machine and handling the filter can be found on this page.

"We know the machine is a much-loved part of many parent's feeding routine. We can reassure everyone that we remain completely confident that the Perfect Prep delivers a safe and convenient feed for your baby."

They also included a video showing parents how to clean the machine.

Have YOU had problems with your machine? We'd love to hear from you - get in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

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