February 26, 2016
Is This Sippy Cup Making Children Sick? Tommee Tippee Under Fire As Photos Showcase Moldy Hidden Valve [Updated]

Sippy cup maker Tommee Tippee has received a string of negative complaints following a viral post that showed the cup's hidden valve covered in mold. With parents concerned for their own child's well-being, many began cutting open their own Tommee Tippee cups to see what was hidden beneath. Many discovered that, to their disbelief, their cups were also covered in mold.

Despite the complaints, Tommee Tippee has responded noting that "if used properly," the cup will not mold. However, there is a catch. The Tommee Tippee cup is only designed to be used with a limited number of beverages. Here is what you need to know about the Tommee Tippee cup mold issue.

Fox4KC reports that one angry father took to Facebook to detail issues he discovered while using a Tommee Tippee cup. Photos of the moldy sippy cup were first uploaded to Facebook by Marie-Pier S. L'Hostie of Montreal, a friend of father Simon O'kanada, who was using the Tommee Tippee cups for his son. O'kanada reported that his son was consistently sick, and he couldn't figure out what was causing the illness. Therefore, he decided to open up the top of his son's sippy cup to see if it could be the source of the issue, and what he found was horrifying. The anti-leak spout hidden inside of the top of the sippy cup was covered in mold.


Initially, many parents believed that the mold was due to improper cleaning techniques. It is noted that the non-spill valve is hidden within the top of the cup, inaccessible to parents for cleaning. Many sippy cup brands have the valve exposed so that it can be removed and properly cleaned, but the Tommee Tippee cup is designed with the valve hidden behind the upper plastic of the cup, making it spill-proof. However, it seems this spill-proof quality comes at a cost to parents, as mold can easily form in the spout.

Numerous concerned parents using Tommee Tippee saw the startling post, and many decided to take one of their sippy cups and dissect it to see if any mold was present. Many were shocked when they discovered their Tommee Tippee sippy cups were also infested with mold on the hidden valve.



Although the concerns have been brought back to the forefront due to the viral post, it appears that problems with the Tommee Tippee cups and mold have been ongoing. Numerous posts from months ago, as well as a review of the cups on Amazon, show an ongoing mold problem for users.


Tommee Tippee has responded to customer concerns about the hidden valve and mold growth, noting that if the cups are "used properly," they will not present a health hazard. However, there is a catch to the company's statement. Tommee Tippee says that their cup is only designed to be used with water and non-pulp juices served cold. The company says that warm beverages, thick milk, and juices with pulp are not supposed to be used with the Tommee Tippee cups and that these beverages can cause the mold issues presented.

Therefore, if milk, a warm beverage, or juice with pulp has been placed in the cup, it appears the only option is to toss the sippy cup or face potential mold problems.

"We want to reassure all parents that we have extensively tested the valves including testing them with a panel of 140 mums in the United States. The results support that when used with recommended liquids (cold, light fluids including water and non-pulp juices) and cleaned in line with instructions, there are no problems. However, we want everyone to share our confidence, so we will shortly be making a transparent valve available. The testing also showed that difficulties can arise when liquids that are not recommended for use in the cups have been used, like thick formula milk, pulpy juice and warm liquids. We strongly advise against using those products. We also recommend that cups are not left for long periods before being cleaned."

If you read the comments on the Tommee Tippee statement, you will note that many parents are not buying the company's response, claiming they have mold despite only using the cups with water as suggested. Despite the complaints and the continual stream of moldy photos, the company says that the cups are safe to use with the limited beverages noted. However, Tommee Tippee says they are in the process of creating a transparent valve that will allow parents to see the inside workings of the cup so that they will know if mold is growing.

What do you think about the Tommee Tippee response to the stream of moldy sippy cup photos? Is a transparent valve enough? With so many cups featuring mold, should a redesign or recall be issued?

Editor's update: the folks at Tommee Tippee have reached out to the Inquisitr with a statement, as found below.

"Child health and wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do, and we're taking the current concerns around our Sippee cups very seriously.

We've sold millions of Sippee cups globally and continue to receive great feedback, but we know from recent social media posts that some people have had problems cleaning the valve. For this we sincerely apologise.

We want everyone to be happy with our products and we always want to exceed expectations. We've therefore listened to our customers, and will be launching a new Sippee cup in the next few months.

The new cup will have a two piece valve that can be used with different types of liquid, and is easier to clean.

In the meantime, we are making transparent, see-through valves (see photograph) immediately available to any parents that have concerns. The see-through valve will enable parents to see inside, and give them confidence that the valve is clean, when used in line with recommended instructions.

Alternatively, we will be happy to provide parents with a different style cup if they'd prefer. Either option will be provided free of charge.

Anyone that would like a see-through valve or alternative cup should contact our Careline toll free on 1-877 248 6922, and one will be sent as quickly as possible.

The reported problems only relate to the one-piece valve on the Sippee range of cups, and do not affect any other Tommee Tippee product.

A range of FAQ's and videos to help parents care for their cups and valves can be found at http://www.tommeetippee.us/support/faqs/one-piece-valve-cup/"

Tommee Tippee's new See-through valve for their Sippee cups
Tommee Tippee's new See-through valve for their Sippee cups

[Image via Facebook/ Facebook]