Breville redesigns food processor after grated cheese dustup

Consumer Reports' eagle-eyed readers tell us about goofs, confounding claims, or inconsistencies in ads and owner's manuals. And we appreciate it. One reader e-mailed to tell us the online manual for our top-rated food processor, the Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL, says that grating cheese voids the warranty. We found that odd because the manual for the processor we tested earlier this year provided cheese-grating tips with no mention of a warranty issue.

In fact, the $400 Breville aced our tests of grating Parmesan cheese. It was also superb at chopping, slicing, and shredding, but so-so in pureeing. Its overall performance put the Breville at the top of our food processor picks, but the reader e-mail prompted us to contact the manufacturer. "We do our own testing and decided to push it to the max," says Aaron Wanek, the company's director of technical services. "We took a large wedge of Parmesan and when we forced it in the processor found it can cause it to seize or the shredding disk can be off balance."

Wanek said that's why Breville revised the manual and added the cheese disclaimer. He said the company has since solved the problem by redesigning the processor's shredding disk and lid for the newly minted Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL/A. The manual for the new model, which Breville says should be in stores in January, removes the cheese disclaimer. The company is also offering owners of the earlier version a new shredding disk and lid. To get one, call 866-273-8455 and Breville will send it to you at no charge, according to Wanek.

So the mystery of the manual is solved. But until we can buy the redesigned Breville and test it we've removed the earlier model from our Ratings.

If grating cheese is one of the main reasons you use a processor, there are other choices from our tests that scored well on that task.

And, Dear Reader, keep those e-mails, calls and letters coming.

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