A girl from southeastern Minnesota endured pain and nightmares after being burned by a coffeemaker at the center of a major national recall because of hot contents spewing from the devices.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and its counterpart in Canada announced the recall of 1.7 million Tassimo single-cup brewers on Thursday after fielding 140 reports of coffee, tea, grounds or leaves spraying uncontrollably from the machine. Also being recalled are millions of espresso discs that go into the beverage makers.
Second-degree burns from the machines have been suffered by 37 people, one of them 10-year-old Halee Miller, of Glenville, Minn., according to the consumer agency.
Halee's burns, suffered on Dec. 28, 2010, required synthetic skin grafts at the Hennepin County Medical Center. Because her recovery required that she avoid sun and cold, Halee couldn't attend class at Glenview-Emmons Elementary and had to be taught at home for about four weeks, said her mother, Susan Miller.
"She couldn't go outside because of the risk of infection," Miller said. "It was just really fragile skin -- even now."
While doing well more than 13 months later, "if she exerts herself, you can see where she was burned; the spots come back," Halee's mother said.
"She cried,'' Miller said. "She had nightmares."
Halee was burned while at home with her grandmother. As the brewer began its cycle, "it started to make a funny noise," Miller said, and then a disc filled with coffee exploded.
Miller said that she's "not even thinking about" seeking financial compensation. "I'm just glad it's being recalled. ... I want to make sure everybody else is protected and it doesn't happen to anyone else."
The $100 brewer that burned Halee was bought at Wal-Mart in Albert Lea by Halee's father as a Christmas gift for her mother.
Miller said she now prepares her coffee at home "on the stove in my little percolator, the old-fashioned way."
The recall of the brewers, made by BSH Home Appliances Corp., of Irvine, Calif., covers 835,000 units in the United States and another 900,000 in Canada. They carry the Bosch and Tassimo Professional brand names. Consumers are being directed to stop using the brewers immediately and to contact the company.
Consumers affected by the recalls can contact the company at 1-866-918-8763 or www.tassimosafetyrecall.com for more information.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482