Instant Soup Packaging Problem


Inverted Cup of Noodles

Inverted Cup of Noodles

If you have instant cup of noodle soups in your house, please take care. Take a look at the bottom of the soup packaging. If the bottom of the cup is narrow, the cup could potentially tip and cause a serious burn.

According to Dr. Warren Garner, director of the burn unit at the University of Southern California’s Country Hospital in Los Angeles, he sees at least two to three patients a week who have been injured by these soup products.  His most common patients are small children who accidentally tip the hot soup onto themselves.  These soups can cause serious burns because the noodles tend to cling to the skin causing deeper burns.

Dr. David Greehalgh, burn unit chief at Shriner’s Hospital and author of a study titled “Instant Cup of Soup: Design Flaws Increase Risk of Burns” states there is an elegant and potentially low-cost solution to the problem.  A safer design can be achieved by simply inverting the cup or flipping it over.

Until the design is changed, parents should make sure the soup is served at a safe temperature and poured into a bowl.

Do you think the manufacturers of these products have a responsibility to make certain the packaging is safe? Can you think of other examples of packaging designed with safety in mind?

Listen to the full story, Why Burn Doctors Hate Instant Soup, on NPR.

11 Responses

  1. Stephen Kelly Says:

    In a word – YES! Product design is such an important part of product success, but I think in this situation people tend to not pay much attention because A) the product is so cheap that the price trumps any other feature (or drawback) of the item, and B) because the instances of burn accidents are either relatively few or grossly under-reported.

    What will be interesting to see is if the manufacturers redesign in the face of this bad press. The digital world we live in is now so vast that even small pebbles can create tsunamis.

  2. Lynn Smaagaard Says:

    I totally agree. Consider what happened in the fast food industry when they got so much bad press about unhealthy choices. Suddenly juice, milk, salads and apples were added to the menu.

  3. Michelle Brown Says:

    I would think that The packaging would now have a warning label added on like the McDonalds coffee packaging after that lawsuit. Like Stephen stated they will be looking at price over safty and a warning label would take care of liability, bad press, and be the cheapest option.

  4. Stephen Kelly Says:

    If there was a way to +1 Michelle’s comment, I would +1 it! 😉

    That warning label notice suggestion could be spot on.

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