Most households and restaurants in the United States have some form of cooking spray on hand. In recent years, Conagra Corporation, the company that makes Pam and other Cooking Sprays, decided to modify it’s can design to allow for the propane/butane aerosol mixture, to vent out of the bottom of the can, rather than build up heat and explode without a vent. The idea was to prevent heat pressure build up in the can to avoid shrapnel type injuries when cans explode.
However, the alternative can design is actually more dangerous than the original design. The vents on the bottom of the can effectively vent out the flammable gases; but those gases are dangerous when near gas flame stoves and other heat sources in a kitchen. Normal cans are designed by law to withstand heat up to 250 degrees; and typically, when they explode, the shrapnel is not going fast enough to cause serious injury.
The vented cans will vent flammable gas at 130 degrees. People all over the United States are being seriously burned daily by exploding cans of Pam and other cooking sprays using the dangerous bottom vent design. As it turns out, the risk of shrapnel from exploding cans is much less of a danger than fire filled explosions.
At this time, there are approximately 30 million cans in circulation, some still for sale in stores, some in household cupboards, and others on the shelves of restaurants and other commercial facilities involved in food preparation. There has been no recall of the cans, although the manufacturers are aware of the risk to consumers.
NBC ran a news report on this danger a few weeks ago, highlighting lawsuits that are currently filed against Conagra Corporation regarding these dangerous exploding cooking spray cans.
The McKnight Law Firm stands ready to assist persons who have suffered injuries from exploding cooking spray cans and other dangerous products. Please contact us if we can help.