Tassimo’s 900,000 Canadian Brewer Recall: When Barcode Technology Goes All Wrong

When I worked on the Kraft Tassimo account as a brand representative in 2009 and 2010 the single-cup coffee machine was all the rage at outlets like Wal-Mart, Home Outfitters, Canadian Tire and more.

You’d often set up your coffee stand and you’d see the rival representatives from Keurig or Nestle working the same store as you. The single cup coffee market according to Reuters is 8% of worldwide coffee sales, but it was cheaper to buy the machine and the t-discs than go to the coffee shoppe on a daily basis.

After all, they say time waiting in line is money, too. It was just a genius idea- put in the t-disc and water, and the coffee would come out in a minute while reading a barcode versus brewing an entire pot!

Looking back though, the machines did seem to be plagued with problems when using them 100-300 times in a six to eight hour shift. They especially had problems when dealing with frozen over Tassimo discs which could have been the culprit of the exploding T-Disc that led to dozens of second degree burn incidents and the recall. 

Perhaps there’s truth to the two specific burn incidents reported by Reuters as they are in cold places and we are in the midst of winter: “Among the more than 160 consumers injured was a 10-year-old girl from Minnesota who was hospitalized with second-degree burns on her face and neck and a 2-year-old girl from Canada with second-degree facial burns.”

You can read and see if your personal or office machine is affected by the recall here