As parents, we do our best to keep our kids healthy and safe. Usually, we trust the very products that are specifically designed and tested with this in mind. However, sometimes even those fail us—which is why we need to stay as diligent as possible.

That’s a pretty big challenge, though—especially when you have kids running around—and one dad learned this the hard way.

Simon O’kanada of Mirabel, Quebec knew something was awry when his son was constantly sick and there was no logical reason.

sippy-cup1-facebook-penny-powellFacebook / Penny Powell

His toddler would often have tummy issues, so O’kanada decided to investigate everything his son ate and drank—and what he ate and drank out of.

sippy-cup2-flickr-gordonFlickr / Gordon

This brought him to his son’s sippy cup, which was manufactured by the popular international brand Tommee Tippee.

sippy-cup3-facebook-name-my-stuffFacebook / Name My Stuff

What he discovered was so alarming, that he told his friend Penny Powell, who posted the story on a parenting group on Facebook.

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This caused other parents to question their children’s sippy cups—and discovering the same disgusting revelation.

sippy-cup5-flickr-gordonFlickr / Gordon

The problem was with the sippy cup’s anti-drip mouthpiece, which was formed by two pieces of plastic sealed together.

sippy-cup6-facebook-tommee-tippee-franceFacebook / Tommee Tippee France

When O’kanada cut open the mouthpiece, the inside was covered with a layer of black mold. Ew!

sippy-cup7-facebook-penny-powellFacebook / Penny Powell

But cleaning the cup wasn’t the problem. Once other parents saw the photos, they all agreed that they’d cleaned the cups thoroughly, even those who used dishwashers.

sippy-cup8-facebook-penny-powellFacebook / Penny Powell

What’s most alarming is that the mouthpiece isn’t designed to be opened in the first place, so parents couldn’t clean the inside at all.

After Powell’s post went viral, Tommee Tippee France finally chimed in.

sippy-cup10-youtube-kathryn-ellisYouTube / Kathryn Ellis

The brand acknowledged all the complaints and said it was working to address the issue. Then it posted a diagram showing how to clean the cup.

sippy-cup11-tommee-tippeeTommee Tippee

Later, the company defended its design, claiming that only certain liquids should be used.


Tommee Tippee got itself in a bit of a bind when it then said, “Difficulties have arisen though when liquids that are not recommended for use in the cups have been used, like thick formula milk, pulpy juice, and warm liquids.” So if those aren’t allowed, what is?


The company recommended the cups only be used for “cold, light fluids including water and non-pulp juices,” citing successful tests with 140 U.S. mothers.


Thankfully, they admitted that “there may be other factors that are difficult to replicate in our testing” and asked parents of affected cups to contact them.


Finally, the company wrote, “We want everyone to be happy with our products and we always want to exceed expectations.” It continued by saying “We’ve therefore listened to our customers, and will be launching a new sippy cup in the next few months.”

sippy-cup16-youtube-kathryn-ellisYouTube / Kathryn Ellis

The new design will feature a two-piece valve that’s easier to clean. The redesigned cup will also be able to hold different types of liquids.

sippy-cup17-youtube-kathryn-ellisYouTube / Kathryn Ellis

In the meantime, Tommee Tippee is sending parents a new, transparent valve so they can see when it becomes dirty.


They could also choose another style of cup, as other Tommee Tippee items don’t seem to be affected. However, the mold issue has been found in other brands.

sippy-cup19-grasping-for-objectivityGrasping for Objectivity

Hopefully manufacturers will take note and redesign their cups the way Tommee Tippee did for the sake of children’s health!

sippy-cup20-grasping-for-objectivityGrasping For Objectivity

We can’t believe how easy it is for a simply sippy cup to become so moldy, especially when it seems like it should be impossible. Parents, make sure you check your children’s cups, just in case.

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