The Keurig coffee machine is the most popular single-serve coffee product in America. It makes the process of making coffee convenient, effortless, and enjoyable.
However, consumers are becoming skeptical about the safety of this coffee machine. Is Keurig safe? Does it contain toxic materials?
There are also some concerns about the plastic used in the K-cups. Do K-cups have BPA?
Do these arguments hold any relevance?
In this article, we’ll look at both sides to determine are K cups really bad for you.
Why Listen To Us? Well, because we KNOW coffee! In fact, we make our own coffee, coffee machine cleaners, and reusable capsules which we've sold to over 41 countries. Our team ouf experts include Tristan (an engineer), Claire (a food writer) and Richy (a barista). So, whether you're looking for a recipe or repair guide, we've got you covered 💚
Table of Contents
What Makes Plastic a Dangerous Material?
BPA (Bisphenol A) is a synthetic compound found in all sorts of plastic products. It is a harmful material that creates a negative impact on the brain and prostate gland. This synthetic compound mimics estrogen to interact with estrogen receptors, causing changes in cell proliferation and other harmful reactions in your body. This means, that consuming BPA can make you vulnerable to various types of cancers, including breast and prostate cancers.
Other adverse health impacts of BPA plastic include cardiovascular changes, reproductive abnormalities, and altered behavior, and obesity in children. It is an endocrine disruptor that interferes with the production and functioning of many natural hormones in your body. BPA exposure also contributes to metabolic syndrome, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes.
You can find more detailed information on the health impacts of BPA here: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
So What Is Dangerous About Keurig’s K-Cups?
Keurig K-cups are made of plastic – Unlike Nespresso pods which are actually aluminum on the inside.
Why is that an issue?
When plastic is heated, it is more likely to break down, melt, or leach out chemicals into your food or beverage. That is the primary reason why many consumers worry that hot water passing through their plastic K-cups will pull BPAs into their morning of coffee.
So the worry here is that hot water and plastic dont mix – and that’s exactly what we’re doing when making a K Cup coffee.
Do K-cups Have BPA?
Do K-cups have BPA? The answer is no; Keurig cups do not contain BPA. Keurig uses FDA-approved food-safe materials to make these cups.
Three elements constitute the K-cup package, the cup, a filter paper later, and an aluminum foil top. The materials used to make these cups are a mix of plastic that doesn’t cause any harm to your body. The company, Keurig Dr Pepper, also states that ‘the K-Cup packaging does not contain any BPA‘ (source). Keurig cups are nitrogen-flushed and come with a seal that retains optimal freshness.
What do these facts suggest? Is Keurig safe? Are K-cups carcinogenic? The best answer is no. The safe and responsible manufacturing process of K-cups makes them resistant to light, moisture, and oxygen. These cups don’t contain any plastic that contains BPA. So, you can enjoy safely enjoy using Keurig cups.
Is There A Keurig Cancer Warning?
No. This is a complete myth, likely spun by skeptics of plastics, or the packaged food products industries. And, while being skeptical is fine, it’s important to understand there is currently no scientific evidence to support the claim that Keurig causes cancer!
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
What About BPA-Free Plastic? Are They REALLY Safe?
While BPA is the popular culprit for unsafe plastic, there is still the possibility for other plastics to leach other toxic chemicals. This study looks at chemicals that affect estrogenic activity (EA) leached from plastic and found that all plastics tested released some amount of EA-affecting chemicals. What’s worse is that some plastics leached MORE EA affecting chemicals than the BPA plastic itself!!
But, this is only one study, and the science is still out on this one.
It can’t be said for sure if these plastic products are truly harmful or not
Are you still worried about consuming coffee from plastic coffee pods? The only solution is to completely eliminate plastic from your brewing process. We recommend the following two solutions:
- Grab a Reusable K-Cup – Our reusable K-cups don’t only save you money, and save the planet, but are also 100% food safe! They are made of 304 Stainless Steel and high-temperature silicone which is completely BPA and plastic-free. They also pay for themselves in less than a month!
- Switch to Nespresso – Yes, we realize this is blasphemy, recommending Nespresso on an article about Keurig. But, Nespresso pods are made from Aluminum which means there’s no chance of getting plastic in your brewing process. To make things easier for you, here are our recommendations for the best Nespresso machines on the market.
Does the Water Heating Chamber of the Keurig Coffee Machine Leach BPA?
Keurig uses various types of plastics in their brewers. What about the water heating chamber? Does it leach BPA?
The short answer is no. The heating chamber of Keurig contains BPA-free plastic. Furthermore, all of them meet the latest safety standards laid down by the FDA to ensure optimal safety for users.
Many other components of this coffee machine contain plastic. The presence of plastic makes people dubious about safety. All parts of a Keurig coffee machine in which water circulates throughout are 100% BPA-free. There is no need to worry about any health issues when you use this coffee machine.
Do Keurig Coffee Machines Promote Toxic Mold and Bacteria Growth?
Is Keurig safe in terms of bacteria and mold growth?
Any coffee machine promotes bacteria and mold growth if you don’t follow a systematic cleaning routine. Like any other coffee maker, the Keurig coffee machine should also be maintained responsibly to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
If you don’t clean and descale your Keurig machine regularly, as recommended by the manufacturer, it will get dirty. Clean your coffee machine regularly. Descale it every 3 to 6 months. If you follow this advice, you don’t need to worry about mold and bacteria growth. It is always advisable to use a specialized descaling solution instead of substances like vinegar to get optimal results.
Product Recommendation: Check out this article where we’ve found the best descaling solution on the market – and at the best price.
Not the right machine for you? Check out our other descaling guides for Keurig coffee machines below:
2. Clean it:
If you see any signs such as visible scum or smell of mold, calcium buildup, slow drip, or bitter-tasting coffee, you should take the hint that the machine is overdue for a clean. A damp soapy, lint-free, and non-abrasive cloth can be used to clean the machine. You should never immerse the brewer in water or other liquids.
In this guide, we explain how you should (and shouldn’t) clean your Keurig machine.
3. Watch out for mold:
For preventing bacteria and mold growth, you must clean the drip tray and water reservoir periodically using a damp cloth after rinsing. The instruction manual of the manufacturer clearly states all these aspects. You just need to follow them with discipline to keep your Keurig coffee machine clean and healthy.
Note: The capsule holder is the most likely place to grow mold since it’s easy to get coated in coffee residue. While most of the coffee brewer is exposed to high temperatures, the pod holder is not, and thus any mold could cross-contaminate into your final coffee.
Conclusion: Is Keurig Safe?
The final answer is yes. Keurig coffee machines are completely safe to use. All components are made using top-quality materials to ensure the best user experience. The plastic utilized to make parts meet the latest safety guidelines of the FDA. The K-cups are not carcinogenic, are 100% BPA-free, and Type-5 plastic is used to ensure the optimal safety of users.
Read More: Looking for some more tasty Keurig K-Cups spice up your morning routine? We’re rounded up the best below: