People Are Suing Conagra Over Exploding PAM Spray Cans

Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

At least eight consumers have been injured by exploding cans of PAM or similar cooking sprays, and now they're getting together to sue the maker of the products, CBS reports.

Six lawsuits—two representing couples injured at the same time—were filed against food manufacturer Conagra Brands on Tuesday, May 7. The plaintiffs' attorney, J. Craig Smith, alleges that large cans of Conagra cooking sprays like PAM contain a dangerous vent system that makes them a hazard in the kitchen. One of the victims—Maria Mariani of New York—spent a month in the hospital after a can of Conagra cooking spray next to an ignited stove burner exploded and burned 30 percent of her body.

One incident was caught on tape. A cook was working in a restaurant when a can of cooking spray on a shelf near the grill exploded and engulfed his body in flames.

All of the Conagra Brands products connected to the lawsuit are industrial-sized cans sold at bulk outlets like Costco, rather than the smaller cans available at conventional supermarkets. The explosions may have originated from u-shaped ventilation systems in the bottom of the cans, though Conagra says it phased out that design feature earlier this year.

In response to the lawsuit, Conagra issued a statement to CBS New York claiming it wasn't at fault for the explosions. "When PAM is used correctly, as instructed, it is a 100 percent safe and effective product," the statement reads.

All PAM cooking sprays regardless of size come with warnings stating that the product is flammable and cautioning users to keep it away from heat sources and not to store it anywhere hotter than 120°F. The company has no plans to recall the product, but as always, consumers should be careful when using it around the stove.

[h/t CBS]

General Mills Is Recalling More Than 600,000 Pounds of Gold Medal Flour Over E. Coli Risk

jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images
jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images

The FDA recently shared news of a 2019 product recall that could impact home bakers. As CNN reports, General Mills is voluntarily recalling 600,000 pounds of its Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour due to a possible E. coli contamination.

The decision to pull the flour from shelves was made after a routine test of the 5-pound bags. According to a company statement, "the potential presence of E. coli O26" was found in the sample, and even though no illnesses have been connected to Gold Medal flour, General Mills is recalling it to be safe.

Escherichia coli O26 is a dangerous strain of the E. coli bacterium that's often spread through commercially processed foods. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Most patients recover within a week, but in people with vulnerable immune systems like young children and seniors, the complications can be deadly.

To avoid the potentially contaminated batch, look for Gold Medal flour bags with a "better if used by" date of September 6, 2020 and the package UPC 016000 196100. All other products sold under the Gold Medal label are safe to consume.

Whether or not the flour in your pantry is affected, the recall is a good reminder that consuming raw flour can be just as harmful as eating raw eggs. So when you're baking cookies, resist having a taste until after they come out of the oven—or indulge in one of the many edible cookie dough products on the market instead.

[h/t CNN]

The World's Spiciest Chip Is Sold Only One to a Customer

Paqui
Paqui

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to get pepper-sprayed directly in your mouth, Paqui Chips has something you can’t afford to miss. Following the success of their Carolina Reaper Madness One Chip Challenges back in 2016 and 2017, Food & Wine reports that the company has re-released the sadistic snack. Continuing their part-marketing gimmick, part-public safety effort, the Reaper chip won’t be sold in bags. You just get one chip.

That’s because Paqui dusts its chips with the Carolina Reaper Pepper, considered the world’s hottest, and most (attempted) consumers of the chip report being unable to finish even one. To drive home the point of how hot this chip is—it’s really, extremely, punishingly hot—the chip is sold in a tiny coffin-shaped box

Peppers like the Carolina Reaper are loaded with capsaicin, a compound that triggers messages of heat and pain and fiery consumption; your body can respond by vomiting or having shortness of breath. While eating the chip is not the same as consuming the bare, whole pepper, it’s still going to be a very uncomfortable experience. For a profanity-filled example, you can check out this video:

The chip will be sold only on Paqui’s website for $6.99 per chip or $59.90 for a 10-pack. The company also encourages pepper aficionados to upload photos or video of their attempts to finish the chip. If it becomes too much, try eating yogurt, honey, or milk to dampen the effects.

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