Title:
APPARATUS AND METHOD OF THAWING AND WARMING BABY FOOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus and method of thawing and warming comestible product. The apparatus includes a container having an inlet and an outlet, a handle coupled to the container, and a valve coupled to the container adjacent to the outlet. The valve is operable to control fluid flow through the container. The device also includes a lid coupled to the container. The lid includes at least one aperture in fluid communication with the inlet and allows fluid flow therethrough.



Inventors:
Marseglia, Laura (Newton, MA, US)
Thomas, Sherry L. (Hanover, MA, US)
Britto, James J. (Westport, MA, US)
Varney, James R. (Maynard, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/859495
Publication Date:
03/26/2009
Filing Date:
09/21/2007
Assignee:
LEARNING CURVE BRANDS, INC. (Dyersville, IA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/592.01
International Classes:
B65D83/72
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
DESAI, KAUSHIKKUMAR A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLP (Mke) (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for warming baby food or consumable liquid, the device comprising: a container including a plurality of walls, an inlet and an outlet; a handle coupled to the container; a valve coupled to the container adjacent to the outlet, the valve operable to control fluid flow through the container; and a lid coupled to the container, the lid including at least one aperture in fluid communication with the inlet and adapted to allow fluid flow therethrough.

2. The device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising an indicator coupled to the lid, the indicator being in heat exchange relationship with the fluid flow, the indicator being operable to identify a condition of the fluid in the container.

3. The device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising an indicator coupled to the container, the indicator being in heat exchange relationship with the fluid flow, the indicator being operable to identify a condition of the fluid in the container.

4. The device as claimed in claim 3, wherein at least one of the walls of the container includes a first portion defining a first wall thickness, and a second portion defining a second wall thickness, the first wall thickness being greater than the second wall thickness, and wherein the indicator is positioned on the second portion.

5. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the container includes a protrusion extending from one of the walls and operable to engage the handle.

6. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the container includes a projection defining the outlet and extending from one of the walls.

7. The device as claimed in claim 6, wherein the plurality of walls includes a bottom wall coupled to the projection defining the outlet, and wherein the valve is coupled to the projection.

8. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the handle includes a deformable aperture adapted to couple the device to a fluid source.

9. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein valve includes a side wall, a bottom wall, and at least one handle extending from the side wall, wherein the at least one handle is operable to adjust the valve to control fluid flow through the container.

10. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lid includes a side wall, a bottom wall, and an outwardly extending lip adapted to engage a top edge of the container.

11. The device as claimed in claim 10, wherein the side wall of the lid includes a protrusion adapted to engage an aperture of the container.

12. The device as claimed in claim 10, wherein one of the at least one apertures in the lid is positioned within the bottom wall of the lid and includes a first shape, and wherein another of the at least one aperture is defined in the bottom wall and includes a second shape, the first shape being different than the second shape.

13. The device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a seal positioned between the valve and the container, the seal cooperating with the valve to control fluid flow through the container.

14. The device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a base including a first surface defining a first plane, a second surface defining a second plane, the first plane different than the second plane, and a tab extending from the first surface.

15. The device as claimed in claim 14, wherein the container includes a front wall, and a bottom wall having a projection defining the outlet aperture, and wherein the first surface of the base supports at least a portion of the bottom wall of the container.

16. The device as claimed in claim 14, wherein the container includes a front wall and a bottom wall with a projection defining the outlet aperture, and wherein the valve includes a wall with a handle, and wherein the second surface of the base and at least a portion of the bottom wall of the container substantially enclose the handle therebetween.

17. The device as claimed in claim 16, wherein the container includes a protrusion operable to engage an aperture in the tab of the base, and wherein the tab is adapted to apply pressure on the container to support the container in an upright position.

18. A device for warming baby food or consumable liquid, the device comprising: a container including an inlet and an outlet; a valve coupled to the outlet, the valve operable to control fluid flow through the container; a lid coupled to the container, the lid including at least one aperture in fluid communication with the inlet and allowing fluid flow therethrough; and an indicator coupled to the container in heat exchange relationship with the fluid flow, the indicator operable to identify a condition of the fluid in the container.

19. The device as claimed in claim 18, wherein the container includes a plurality of walls, and wherein at least one of the walls includes a first portion defining a first wall thickness and a second portion defining a second wall thickness, the first wall thickness being greater than the second wall thickness, and wherein the indicator is coupled to the second portion.

20. The device as claimed in claim 19, further comprising a flexible handle having an aperture adapted to receive a protrusion extending from one of the walls of the container.

21. The device as claimed in claim 19, wherein the container includes a bottom wall and a projection defining the outlet aperture and extending from the bottom wall.

22. The device as claimed in claim 18, wherein the valve includes a side wall, a bottom wall, and at least one handle extending from the side wall and being operable to adjust the valve to control fluid flow through the container.

23. The device as claimed in claim 18, wherein the container includes a bottom wall having an integral projection defining the outlet aperture, and wherein the valve is coupled to the projection.

24. The device as claimed in claim 18, wherein the lid includes a side wall, a bottom wall, and an outwardly extending lip, and wherein the side wall and the bottom wall of the lid are adapted to be received within the inlet of the container.

25. The device as claimed in claim 24, wherein the side wall of the lid includes a protrusion operable to engage an aperture within an upper portion of the container.

26. The device as claimed in claim 24, wherein one of the at least one aperture is defined in the bottom wall of the lid and includes a first shape, and wherein another of the at least one apertures is defined in the bottom wall of the lid and includes a second shape, the first shape being different than the second shape.

27. The device as claimed in claim 18, further comprising a seal positioned between the valve and the container, the seal cooperating with the valve to control fluid flow through the container.

28. The device as claimed in claim 18, further comprising a base including a first surface defining a first plane, a second surface defining a second plane, the first plane different than the second plane, and a tab extending from the first surface.

29. The device as claimed in claim 28, wherein the container includes a front wall, and a bottom wall having a projection defining the outlet aperture, and wherein the first surface supports at least a portion of the bottom wall of the container.

30. The device as claimed in claim 28, wherein the container includes a front wall and a bottom wall having a projection defining the outlet aperture, and wherein the valve includes a side wall with a handle, and wherein the second surface of the base and at least a portion of the bottom wall of the container substantially enclose the handle therebetween.

31. The device as claimed in claim 28, wherein the container includes a protrusion operable to engage an aperture of the tab of the base, and wherein the tab is adapted to apply pressure on the container to support the container in an upright position.

32. The device as claimed in claim 18, further comprising a handle coupled to the container.

33. The device as claimed in claim 32, wherein the handle includes a deformable aperture adapted to couple the device to a fluid source.

34. A device for warming comestible product, the device comprising: a container for supporting fluid flow therethrough, the container including a front wall defining an upper edge, a side wall including a protrusion, the front wall and side wall at least partially forming an inlet, and a bottom wall having an outlet therethrough; a lid coupled to the container adjacent to the inlet, the lid including a side wall with an outwardly extending lip adapted to engage at least a portion of the upper edge of the container, and a bottom wall with at least one aperture in fluid communication with the inlet; and a base including a tab extending from an upper surface, the tab adapted to receive the protrusion extending from the side wall of the container to support the container in an upright position.

35. The device as claimed in claim 34, wherein the front wall includes a first portion defining a first wall thickness, and a second portion defining a second wall thickness, the first wall thickness being greater than the second wall thickness.

36. The device as claimed in claim 35, further comprising an indicator in heat exchange relationship with the fluid flow, the indicator being operable to identify a condition of the fluid in the container, and wherein the indicator is coupled to the second portion.

37. The device as claimed in claim 36, further comprising a flexible handle coupled to the container.

38. The device as claimed in claim 37, wherein the handle includes a deformable aperture adapted to couple the device to a fluid source.

39. The device as claimed in claim 37, wherein the container includes at least one protrusion extending from the side wall and operable to engage the handle.

40. The device as claimed in claim 34, further comprising a valve coupled to the outlet aperture, the valve operable to control fluid flow through the container.

41. The device as claimed in claim 40, further comprising a seal positioned between the valve and the container, the seal cooperating with the valve to control fluid flow through the container.

42. The device as claimed in claim 34, wherein the side wall of the lid includes a protrusion operable to engage an aperture in the front wall of the container.

43. The device as claimed in claim 34, wherein one of the at least one apertures of the lid is defined within the bottom wall of the lid and includes a first shape, and wherein another of the at least one apertures is defined in the bottom wall of the lid and includes a second shape, the first shape being different than the second shape.

44. The device as claimed in claim 34, wherein the base includes a first surface defining a first plane and a second surface defining a second plane, the first plane different than the second plane, and wherein the tab extends from the first surface.

45. The device as claimed in claim 44, further comprising a valve having a side wall with a handle extending therefrom, and wherein the second surface of the base and at least a portion of the bottom wall of the container substantially enclose the handle therebetween.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Proper thawing and/or warming of baby food and breast milk is necessary to prevent the food and liquid from reaching a temperature that could place the child at risk for burns. Baby food products and breast milk need additional care when processing and handling.

SUMMARY

In one embodiment, the invention provides a device for warming baby food or consumable liquid. The device comprises a container including a plurality of walls, an inlet and an outlet. The device also comprises a handle coupled to the container, and a valve coupled to the container adjacent to the outlet. The valve is operable to control fluid flow through the container. The device also comprises a lid coupled to the container, the lid including at least one aperture in fluid communication with the inlet and allowing fluid flow therethrough.

In another embodiment, the invention provides a device for warming baby food or consumable liquid. The device comprises a container including an inlet and an outlet, and a valve coupled to the outlet. The valve is operable to control fluid flow through the container. The device also comprises a lid coupled to the container. The lid includes at least one aperture in fluid communication with the inlet and allowing fluid flow therethrough. The device also includes an indicator coupled to the container in heat exchange relationship with the fluid flow, the indicator operable to identify a condition of the fluid in the container.

In another embodiment, the invention provides a device for warming baby food or consumable liquid. The device comprises a container for supporting a fluid flow therethrough, the container including a front wall defining an upper edge, a side wall including a protrusion, the front wall and side wall at least partially forming an inlet, and a bottom wall with an outlet therethrough. The device also comprises a lid coupled to the container adjacent to the inlet. The lid includes a side wall with an outwardly extending edge engaging at least a portion of the upper edge, and a bottom wall with at least one aperture in fluid communication with the inlet. The device also comprises a base including a tab extending from the first surface, the tab adapted to receive the protrusion extending from the side wall of the container.

Other aspects of the invention will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a device for thawing and warming baby food according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the device for thawing and warming baby food illustrated in FIG. 1 including a lid and a handle.

FIG. 3 is a top view of the handle illustrated in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the lid illustrated in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5A is a top view of the lid illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 5B is a front view of the lid illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 5C is a side view of the lid illustrated in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a bottom perspective view of a container of the device illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 7A is a front view of the container illustrated in FIG. 6.

FIG. 7B is a side view of the container illustrated in FIG. 6.

FIG. 7C is a bottom view of the container illustrated in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8A is a top perspective view of a valve for use with the device illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 8B is a bottom perspective view of the valve illustrated in FIG. 8A.

FIG. 9A is a top view of the valve illustrated in FIGS. 8A and 8B.

FIG. 9B is a side view of the valve illustrated in FIGS. 8A and 8B.

FIG. 9C is a bottom view of the valve illustrated in FIGS. 8A and 8B.

FIG. 9D is a front view of the valve illustrated in FIGS. 8A and 8B.

FIG. 10A is a bottom perspective view of a seal for use with the device illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 10B is a side view of the seal illustrated in FIG. 10A.

FIG. 11A is a top perspective view of a base for use with the device illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 11B is a bottom perspective view of the base illustrated in FIG. 11A.

FIG. 12A is a top view of the base illustrated in FIGS. 11A and 11B.

FIG. 12B is a front view of the base illustrated in FIGS. 11A and 11B.

FIG. 12C is a side view of the base illustrated in FIGS. 11A and 11B.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the device illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 coupled to a faucet.

FIG. 14 is a section view of the device illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Before any embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including,” “comprising,” or “having” and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items. Unless specified or limited otherwise, the terms “mounted,” “connected,” “supported,” and “coupled” and variations thereof are used broadly and encompass both direct and indirect mountings, connections, supports, and couplings. Further, “connected” and “coupled” are not restricted to physical or mechanical connections or couplings.

Although directional references, such as upper, lower, downward, upward, rearward, bottom, front, rear, etc., may be made herein in describing the drawings, these references are made relative to the drawings (as normally viewed) for convenience. These directions are not intended to be taken literally or limit the present invention in any form. In addition, terms such as “first”, “second”, and “third” are used herein for purposes of description and are not intended to indicate or imply relative importance or significance.

FIGS. 1-14 illustrate an apparatus 10 for thawing and warming baby food and breast milk (collectively referred to herein as “comestible product”) according to one embodiment of the present invention. The apparatus 10 is adapted to control the flow of a warming liquid (e.g., water) to thaw and/or warm a sealed container (e.g., sealed container 400 in FIG. 14) of the comestible product and supported by the apparatus 10.

The apparatus 10 includes a container 12 as illustrated in FIG. 1. The container 12 is adapted to support the comestible product. With reference to FIGS. 1 and 6, the container 12 includes a front wall 85 and a rear wall 90 connected to the front wall 85 by a first and a second side wall 95. The front wall 85 and the rear wall 90 include an upper portion 91 having a width greater than a width of a lower portion 92 of the front wall 85 and the rear wall 90. The upper portion 91 of the front wall 85 and the rear wall 90 gradually widens from a bottom of the upper portion 91 to a top of the upper portion 91. The side walls 95 each include an upper portion 94 that extends outwardly with respect to a lower portion 96 of the side walls 95. The first and second side walls 95 are contoured or rounded from front wall 85 to rear wall 90. The front wall 85 and the rear wall 90 also are contoured or rounded slightly as illustrated, such that a top edge 150 of the container is somewhat oval-shaped.

The container 12 also includes a bottom wall 100 connected to the front wall 85, the rear wall 90, and the first and second side walls 95 defining a recess 80. The bottom wall 100 includes a cylindrical wall 105 extending from the bottom wall 100 and defining a fluid outlet or aperture 110, as illustrated in FIG. 6.

The container 12 includes two protrusions or nubs 115 each extending from the upper portion 91 of each side wall 95. As illustrated in FIG. 7A, each nub 115 includes a neck portion 120 extending from the side wall 95, and a head portion 125 having a larger diameter than the neck portion 120. The nubs 115 are adapted to receive a strap 15, further described below.

The container 12 also includes a recess 320 on the lower portion 96 of each of the side walls 95. The recess 320 supports a protrusion 325 extending therefrom. The protrusion 325 is adapted to connect to a base, further described below.

The container 12 also includes an aperture 180 adjacent the top edge 150 on each of the front wall 85 and the rear wall 90, as illustrated in FIG. 2. The container also includes a display portion 130 having a label area 135 and an indicator portion 140. The label area 135 can be used to attach and/or display a label related to the apparatus 10, however, labels also can be attached to other portions of the apparatus 10. The indicator portion 140 is defined by a recess 145 with the display portion 130 on the front wall 85 and is adapted to receive an indicator 30. The wall thickness of the front wall 85 in the recess 145 is relatively thinner than the wall thickness of other portions of the walls 85, 90, 95, 100.

The relatively thinner wall thickness in the recess 145 allows the indicator 30 to be in close heat exchange relationship with the fluid flowing through the container 12. In the illustrated construction, the indicator 30 includes a material sensitive to variations in temperature such that the indicator 30 can display different colorations and/or words depending on the temperature the indicator 30 is exposed to and senses. In one example, the indicator 30 can display a white coloration when fluid within the container 12 is at room temperature and a red coloration when the fluid within the container 12 is at a higher temperature. In another example, the indicator 30 can include a first material not sensitive to temperature change and a second material sensitive to temperature change. Furthermore, the second material can be molded, coupled, or mounted to the first material such that when fluid at higher temperature flows through the container 12, the second material changes coloration causing the indicator 30 to display a warning symbol or lettering.

The apparatus 10 includes a strap 15 as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. The strap 15 is adapted to support the container 12 while hanging from a faucet 405 (illustrated in FIG. 13). The strap 15 includes an elongated and substantially flat body 50 extending along an axis 52 and is defined by an outer edge 54. The body 50 includes a center portion 55 and two side portions 60 extending from the center portion 55. The center portion 55 is contoured or rounded and is generally wider than the two side portions 60. The strap 15 also includes an elongated opening or slit 65 extending along the axis 52 within the center portion 55. The slit 65 allows deformation of the center portion 55 of the strap to be support by and hang from an object, such as the faucet 405.

The strap 15 can also include a plurality of apertures 70 adjacent the slit 65 in the center portion 55. In the illustrated construction, the strap 15 includes three apertures 70 on each side of the slit 65, however, more or fewer than three apertures 70 can be employed in the strap 15.

The strap 15 also includes a plurality of apertures 75 extending along each of the side portions 60. Each aperture 75 includes a larger diameter portion 77 and a smaller diameter portion 79, as illustrated in FIG. 3. The apertures 75 are adapted to receive a corresponding nub 115 on each of the side walls 95 of the container 12 such that the head portion 125 of the nub 115 can extend through the larger diameter portion 77 so that the smaller diameter portion 79 can support the neck portion 120 of the nub 115 to prevent uncoupling of the strap 15 and the container 12. The plurality of apertures 75 allows the user to select a particular height of the container 12 with respect to the faucet 405.

The apparatus 10 includes a lid 20 as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4-5C. The lid 20 includes a plurality of side walls 160 integrally formed with a bottom wall 165 to define a recess 166. The plurality of side walls 160 include a rim 170 extending around the top periphery thereof. The plurality of side walls 160 and the rim 170 are complementary shaped with respect to the container 12 such that the rim 170 is adapted to engage the top edge 150 of the container 12. Two of the side walls 160 each include a protrusion 175 adapted to be received by the respective apertures 180 in the front wall 85 and the rear wall 90 of the container 12. When the lid 20 is coupled to the container 12 (as illustrated in FIG. 13), the rim 170 and the protrusions 175 help support the lid 20 is a stable position with respect to the container 12.

The lid 20 also includes a plurality of apertures 168 in the bottom wall 165. In the illustrated construction, the apertures 168 are generally kidney-like shaped and occupy a majority of the surface of bottom wall 165. The apertures 168 allow fluid to flow through the lid 20 and into the container 12. Other constructions of the lid 20 can include apertures 168 defining other shapes, wherein the area covered by the apertures 168 is a function of the amount of fluid to be allowed to flow through the container 12. In other words, the bottom wall 165 can include a portion that does not have apertures 168. In addition, some constructions of the apparatus 10 can include more than one lid 20 such that each lid 20 is adapted to allow a specific amount of fluid to flow through the container 12. Additionally, other constructions of the apparatus 10 do not require the lid 20.

The lid 20 can also include an indicator 30 having a material sensitive to variations in temperature such that the indicator 30 can display different colorations and/or words depending on the temperature the indicator 30 is exposed to and senses. The bottom wall 165 can include a relatively thinner portion than the wall thickness of other portions of the bottom wall 165. The indicator 30 is oriented to be in close heat exchange relationship with the fluid flowing through the container 12. In one example, the indicator 30 can display a white coloration when fluid entering the container 12 is at room temperature and a red coloration when the fluid entering the container 12 is at a higher temperature. In another example, the indicator 30 can include a first material not sensitive to temperature change and a second material sensitive to temperature change. Furthermore, the second material can be molded, coupled, or mounted to the first material such that when fluid at higher temperature enters the container 12, the second material changes coloration causing the indicator 30 to display a warning symbol or lettering.

The apparatus 10 includes a valve 35 as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 8A-9D. The valve 35 is adapted to regulate fluid flow through the container 12. The valve 35 includes a cylindrical wall 190 integrally formed with a bottom wall 195. The cylindrical wall 190 includes an inside surface 205 having a pair of elongated protrusions 200 extending inward from the inside surface 205. The elongated protrusions 200 are adapted to slidingly engage the protrusions 185 of the outer surface of the cylindrical wall 105 of the container 12 to couple the valve 35 to the container 12. During use of the apparatus 10, engagement of the protrusions 185 and 200 of the container 12 and valve 35 allow the valve 35 to rotate and change elevation with respect to the container 12, thus regulating the amount of fluid flowing through the container 12.

The bottom wall 195 of the valve 35 includes an upper surface 215, a lower surface 220, and a fluid aperture 225 extending through the upper surface 215 and the lower surface 220. The bottom wall 195 includes a plurality of ribs 230 integrally formed on the lower surface 220 and radially extending around the fluid aperture 225.

The valve 35 also includes a pair of handles 210 extending opposite from one another from an outer surface of the cylindrical wall 190. The handles 210 allow a user to maneuver or rotate the valve 35. However, other constructions of the valve 35 can include different mechanisms to operate the valve 35 between at least on open position and a closed position.

The valve 35 includes a seal 40 (illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 10A-10B) supported by the upper surface 215 of the bottom wall 195. The seal 40 is positioned between the container 12 and the valve 35. The seal 40 includes a substantially flat circular portion 235, an upper nub 238 extending from an upper surface 240 of the circular portion 235, and a lower nub 245 extending from a lower surface 250 of the circular portion 235. The upper nub 238 and the lower nub 245 are each defined by a substantially cylindrical body and are substantially aligned along an axis 255 (shown in FIG. 10B). The upper nub 238 includes a length generally greater than a length of the lower nub 245 as viewed along the axis 255. The lower nub 245 includes a diameter generally greater than a diameter of the upper nub 238. The lower nub 245 is adapted to be received in the aperture 225 of the valve 35.

The apparatus 10 also includes a base 45 as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 11A-12C. The base 45 is adapted to support the container 12 in an upright position on a surface 410 as illustrated in FIG. 1. The base 45 includes a body 260 having a bottom edge 265, which is contoured such that a front section and a rear section of the bottom edge 265 are adapted to contact a supporting surface 410, while the two side sections of the bottom edge 265 are elevated from the supporting surface 410.

The base 45 also includes a wall 275 defining an opening 270 within the base 45. The wall 275 extends around the opening 270 and includes two extended wall portions 277 at a higher elevation than two lower portions 279. The two extended wall portions 277 each includes a substantially horizontal surface 285 oriented in an elevated plane with respect to the horizontal surfaces 280 of a plane of the two lower portions 279. The two lower portions 279 each include a generally horizontal surface 280 oriented toward the front section and the rear section of the base 45. Each of the two horizontal surfaces 280 intersect with a pair of lateral surfaces 290 of the extended wall portions 277 to define a distance of movement of the handles 210 of the valve 35 when positioned within the base 45. The two horizontal surfaces 280 each include one or more indicators 305 illustrating a position of the handles 210 of the valve 35 indicating a flow rate of the liquid flowing through the container 12. For example, the indicators 305 can include one or more symbols identifying if the valve 35 is in an open position or a closed position.

The base 45 also includes four tabs 300 each extending from the lateral surfaces 290 of the extended wall portions 277. The handles 210 are operable to engage the tabs 300, causing restriction in the rotational motion of the valve 35 between an open and a closed position.

The base 45 also includes a pair of support tabs 310 each extending upward from one of the extended wall portions 277. The support tabs 310 each include a centrally located aperture 315 adapted to receive corresponding protrusions 325 of the container 12.

The user assembles the apparatus 10 by positioning the seal 40 into the valve 35 so that the smaller nub 245 on the seal 40 is fitted into the aperture 225 of the valve 35 and the longer nub 238 is exposed. Next, the valve 35 is screwed onto the projection 105 of the container 12. Next, the container 12 is positioned on the base 45 so that the protrusions 325 on the container 12 fit into the apertures 315 on the support tabs 310 of the base 45. The flexible handle 15 is coupled to the container by slipping the protrusions 115 on the container 12 through the apertures 75 in the handle 15. The handle 15 is secured by gently tugging the handle 15 upward. Next, the lid 20 is positioned onto the top of the container 12.

In a method of use of the apparatus 10, the user can test the temperature of the water from the faucet by running water over the color change indicator on the container 12. If the caution warning appears, the water is too hot and should be adjusted to a cooler temperature. After the appropriate temperature of the water is determined, a bottle or bag of frozen or refrigerated comestible product can be positioned within the container 12, and the lid 20 can be attached to the container 12. It is not necessary to use the lid for items that are taller than the container 12. The handle 15 is coupled to a faucet and the apparatus 10 can hang therefrom or the apparatus 10 can stand in the sink basin. To hang from a faucet, secure the container 12 by slipping the faucet head through the slit 65 in the handle 15. The water flow can be adjusted with the valve 35 so the water covers the comestible product in the container 12 entirely, but does not spill over the top of the container 12. For faster heating the handle 210 on the valve 35 can be moved to an open position and the water left running. For stricter water management, the handle 210 on the valve 35 can be moved to a closed position, such that the container remains filled with warm water while the faucet is turned off. These steps can be repeated as needed. These steps can be altered and the order can be modified as needed.

Various features and advantages of the invention are set forth in the following claims.