Earlier this month, a Elena Struthers-Gardner, a 60 year old woman from the UK who had mobility issues, suffered a freak accident resulting in her death from the use of a stainless steel straw in a fixed drinking lid of a mason jar. Sadly, she tripped while carrying it and the straw went through her eye socket and her injuries were fatal. In light of this, and the coroner's results that followed, we felt it necessary to ensure the smoothie cups we are selling that hold drinking straws in place are always being handled safely.
What style lids on smoothie cups do I need to be careful with?
Visit our smoothie cup category and anything with a lid with a small hole in it to hold your drinking straw at place should be carried with care. In particular, the Cheeki smoothie cups (pictured at the top of the page) and MontiiCo cups come with a stainless steel straw (from tip to bottom) as the straw of choice. The MINI cups from MontiiCo comes with a silicone straw and a stainless steel straw. We urge our customers to only use the silicone straw with small children.
As you can see from the photograph above, there's a small hole that keeps the straw in place, and in most instances, smoothie cup straws have a ring around them near the bottom so they don't come all the way out. We are in discussions with Cheeki about the possibility of changing this design an we'll update this post should anything change.
Please note, the cups and straws are perfectly safe to drink from. The potential danger is drinking from them while walking and tripping over something or being pushed either while it's in your mouth or even while you're just holding it.
Simple safety tips for everyone
- Don't walk with the metal straw in place
- Swap the metal straw for a silicone one
- Choose a smoothie cup that already comes with a silicone straw
- Choose a smoothie cup that's designed to be used without a straw
ONE - Don't walk with the metal straw in place
If you're carrying the smoothie any distance before you start drinking, simply have them fill the cup and screw the lid on and keep the straw in your bag or carry it outside the cup. Most smoothie cups have a hole in the lid for the straw and it's always exposed, so you will need to keep the cup upright. If you want to carry it any distance and drink later, read our Complete Guide to the TKWide Range from Klean Kanteen. You can use them with a leakproof lid for transport and then add the smoothie lid when you're ready to drink. Technically they're designed to be a stainless steel water bottle, but they're a versatile bottle with a variety of lids which means they're also a smoothie cup, an insulated coffee cup and leakproof travel mug and insulated food jar as well.
TWO - Swap the metal straw for a silicone one
There's no reason to use the straw that came with the smoothie cup if you don't want to. The size of the hole is wide enough to easily accommodate smoothie width straws, and we have a range of safe silicone straws in store to swap. Silicone straws are soft and bendy and a much safer option for drinking while you're walking and for young children.
We have three brands in store that are silicone from top to bottom. In this next photo we have lined them up side by side to show the difference in the diameter. For little kids drinking water, the MontiiCo are the pick. For smoothies we recommend either the Ever Eco or the Little Mashies for something a little thicker.
THREE - Choose a smoothie cup that already comes with a silicone straw
There's not a huge selection here, but we do have two options available to buy your smoothie cup with a silicone straw already in place. The MINI size smoothie cup from MontiiCo at 275ml capacity comes with both a metal and a silicone straw. They are really only suitable for little kids. For adults, there's two options available from Klean Kanteen. Their insulated tumblers come with a combo straw, they're stainless steel inside the cup and for just a short distance outside, and then they are topped with a bent silicone tip (below). The other option is the Klean Kanteen TKWide that we talked about at point 1.
FOUR - Choose a smoothie cup that's designed to be used without a straw
Whenever we talk about straws online, there's a chorus of people singing "why do we even need to drink from straws". There are people with disabilities who need to use them. Most of us really don't need one at all, we're just used to drinking certain things from them. The team at Ever Eco have made insulated tumblers with lids and a slide across section to open and close the drinking hole. There's no straw. You can certainly add a straw if you want to, but they're specifically designed to be used without one.