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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-disagree-it-was-excessively-hot-one-of-the-30567885.aspx

Subject:  Re: Hot Coffee Date:  2/28/2013  9:52 PM
Author:  Goofyhoofy Number:  418685 of 445610

I disagree it was excessively hot. One of the many times this topic came up I started looking at gourmet coffee websites to "prove" that McD's coffee was too hot. But every site I went to (including Starbucks, IIRC) recommended serving coffee at 175-185 degrees.

Starbucks "brews" at 175, but serves at a lower temperature. Burger King, Wendy's all serve at lower temperatures. McDonald's required franchisees to serve at 185.

You can get scalded as low as 140 (even less for children), but the scale rises geometrically with temperature from there. At 150 you can get a spill, but wipe it off in time to avoid burning. At 160 you have a second or two. At 180 you are burned the moment the liquid hits your skin, and at 185 you have second or third degree burns before you can even react.

If McDonald's spilled the coffee on her, I could see her point.

Her point was that McDonald's had already had 700 incidents of "burned" customers. They should have known it was a danger but continued to serve it that way anyway, even though such a high temperature was unnecessary.

And by "spilling" it, I think it's exaggerated. She sloshed a bit over the edge, which burned her fingers, which caused her to drop the cup, which went into her lap and created instantaneous burns requiring skin grafting in her lap. When corporations knowingly serve dangerous products they take on a risk, which McDonald's did.

Was she entirely blameless? No, I guess not. But then serving coffee that hot to people at the drive thru is just asking for trouble - and given that I drink coffee every single morning, and have spilled some from time to time, it would never occur to me until afterward that the coffee I get at McDonald's is so significantly more treacherous than that I am used to getting at home or any other restaurant.

PS: A Bunn coffeemaker brews coffee at 150 degrees. Given the "scalding scale" runs from 140-190, and follows an asymptotic trajectory upwards, 185 is pretty significantly irresponsible.
 

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