Pam cooking spray is a popular product that has been used in kitchens across the United States for decades to prevent sticking during food preparation. Now, the company faces accusations related to the safety of its product after at least eight people suffered burns when cooking spray cans exploded.
The burn victims have filed lawsuits against Conagra Brands, the makers of Pam and other similar cooking sprays.
According to the lawsuits, the explosions might be caused by the u-shaped vent system at the bottom of the cans. That design has since been phased out by Conagra. The lawsuits claim the cans designed with this feature are unsafe. Conagra does not concur.
Staten Island Woman Burned Severely When Cooking Spray Can Exploded
One of the victims injured in the cooking spray-related explosions, Maria Mariani of Staten Island, New York, described the incident as “… the scariest thing ever.”
She explained she was “…confused, scared, I didn’t know what to do.”
Mariani had to be hospitalized for a month with burns that covered nearly a third of her body. She underwent three surgical procedures after suffering injuries that she claims were caused when a can of Wellsley Farms Cooking Spray exploded. Wellsley is another brand of cooking spray manufactured by Conagra.
Mariani said the incident occurred not long after she lit the stove to heat her mother’s apartment. The can, which was sitting just inches from the burners, exploded.
Mariani has filed a lawsuit against Conagra, which is one of the six filed recently by people injured throughout the country. Another person – a cook at a Houston restaurant – was shown on video being burned when a can of Pam exploded and engulfed the person in flames.
The cans that have been involved in the explosions are 10 ounce cans or larger and feature a venting mechanism. They can be purchased at Costco and other wholesale stores but are not available at most supermarkets.
It should be noted these are not the usual cans of Pam cooking spray found in many homes and that the cans were not in use when the explosions occurred.
Conagra Maintains Cooking Spray Cans are Safe When Used Properly
Conagra issued a statement following the filing of the lawsuits claiming their cooking spray products are safe and explaining:
“Please know the safety of our products and our consumers is always our top priority. When PAM is used correctly, as instructed, it is a 100-percent safe and effective product…
All PAM Cooking Sprays include large, clear instructions, warnings and cautions on both the front and back of the packaging alerting consumers that the product should be used responsibly as it is flammable, and that it should not be left on a stove or near a heat source, should not be sprayed near an open flame, and should not be stored above 120°F.
To reiterate, when PAM is used correctly, as instructed, it is a 100-percent safe and effective product.”
The company reiterated the cans feature warning labels that state that bursting can occur if cans are left on or near stoves and other heat sources.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the explosions and the safety of cooking spray products.