Our complaint involves the Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow® Deluxe Baby Bottle Sterilizer, model #AC045 / serial number 21164-27786-02122. The Instructions for Use (IFU) contain inadequate instructions. IFU includes both the printed and online version as of the date of this complaint. This product is used to sterilize infant feeding items and accessories. The set includes a lift-out basket, tongs, and a measuring cup.
The reason for our complaint:
On multiple occasions, “soot” and an excessive amount of black particles were found inside the machine and inside Dr. Brown’s baby bottle vents after use.
To that end, we have noted the following deficiencies in the labeling material:
The IFU instructs the user to wash, rinse and empty the baby bottles and accessories before running the appliance but does not specifically instruct the user to dry, or air-dry, the items before running the appliance. Drying the bottles prior to running the appliance allows for the removal of residual water leftover from the dishwasher or rinsing process. Residual water left on the outside and/or inside of the bottles and accessories may contaminate the distilled water used to sterilize the bottles, especially if city water is not properly filtered or is hard water, and may exacerbate the build-up of mineral deposits on the heating element surface.
IFU does not specifically instruct the user to visually inspect inside Dr. Brown’s baby bottle vents. Regardless if any foreign matter tested harmless, it is to be expected that baby bottles do not contain foreign particles inadvertently trapped inside Dr. Brown’s bottle vents from either the cleaning process or after using the Dr. Brown’s sterilizer.
The IFU does not specifically instruct the user to stop using the appliance when mineral deposits are present.
The IFU does not instruct the user to re-wash bottles and accessories if black flakes and/or residue is found on the lift-out basket and heating element after using the appliance.
As previously noted, the IFU states, “CAUTION:DO NOT EXCEED the recommended amount of water. If it is necessary to drain water from the base, always POUR AWAY FROM YOU”. We believe this statement does not provide a sufficient caution against leaving residual water to pool on the heating element after a cycle is finished. It is common to have a small volume of water left in the steriliser after a completed cycle. IFU for model AC045 does not instruct the user to empty out any remaining water once the cycle finishes and wipe down all surfaces after each use. Water left inside the machine may exacerbate the build-up of mineral deposits/limescale.
The IFU states, “Before running this appliance, it is important that all bottles, bottle parts and/or other accessories are clean. They must be washed, rinsed and empty.” IFU does not provide a warning to dry all the items prior to using the sterilizer. It is well-known that plastic baby bottle components don’t retain heat well and may have residual water droplets on the outside from the dishwasher drying cycle. Dishwashers use city water, therefore, any water droplets leftover from the drying cycle will most likely exacerbate the build-up of hard-water deposits on the machine.
The “Instructions For Use” states, “Before running this appliance, it is important that all bottles, bottle parts and/or other accessories are clean. They must be washed, rinsed and empty.” At the time of this complaint, we believe the IFU does not provide a sufficient warning to the user to visually inspect baby bottles, bottle parts, and accessories for foreign matter prior to using the sterilizer. A great number of users may be under the assumption that everything that comes out of a dishwasher is clean and rinsed. However, it is not uncommon for debris to get stuck on caps, bottle vents, and nipples.