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Dear Mary: Love your column. Both my husband and I both read it every day. I am more than a little germophobic. Although I love the convenience of Keurig coffee brewers, I have always worried about what the little germ community is doing inside the brewer when the water remains in it overnight or longer. The reservoir can easily be detached and washed, even in the dishwasher. But what about the water inside the brewer? How do we make sure it is safe for consumption? -- Peggy

Dear Peggy: You can relax based on these two facts:

1) Keurig reports its brewers come preset at 192 degrees F. That's the temperature the water must reach before the machine will release it to flow into the K-cup coffee grounds.

2) Bacteria that are harmful to humans are killed, or pasteurized, within 1 second of the temperature reaching 191 F.

From this data, it is reasonable to conclude that even if your worst fears were to become reality -- your Keurig brewer becoming a playground for harmful microorganisms that multiply while you sleep -- all bacteria and pathogens harmful to humans will be destroyed just in time for the water to be released into your next cup of coffee.


I'm confident, and I believe the Keurig folks would concur, you have one less thing to worry about. Your Keurig is safe!


Mary invites questions, comments and tips at, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at

Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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