People were shocked after learning of the death of French fitness model Rebecca Burger, especially after the cause of death became clear. A whipped cream dispenser seems like the last item that could kill you in the kitchen, but Burger’s demise and the warning shared by her family on social media prove it’s a reality. The question it leaves behind is can this happen to you and what is the danger involved with using these gourmet siphon canisters?
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Voici un exemple de siphon à chantilly qui a explosé et percuté le thorax de Rebecca, entraînant son décès. Précision : le siphon qui a engendré sa mort quant à lui été mis sous scellé. N'utilisez pas ce genre d'ustensile chez vous ! Plusieurs dizaines de milliers d'appareils défectueux sont encore en circulation.
Burger’s family shared a warning and a look at the type of siphon that attributed to her death:
“This an example of a chantilly siphon that exploded and struck Rebecca’s thorax, resulting in her death. Do not use this kind of utensil in your home! Several tens of thousands of defective devices are still in circulation.”
Burger is the first death connected to the use of these gourmet whipped cream dispensers, but she’s far from the first to face an injury due to an accident or a faulty device. The French magazine 60 Million Consumers addressed the tragic accident and reported on the string of injuries that preceded Burger since 2010. This includes the loss of an eye, chest fractures, broken ribs, tinnitus, and broken teeth according to the New York Daily News. The issue seems to be a faulty connector to the pressurized gas capsule inside of the dispenser, with the company related to the dispenser used by Burger recalling and destroying their products in 2013 following the first reports of incidents.
So why does this happen and do you have to worry? As the Daily News points out, it’s only these specific types of whipped cream dispensers that have been connected to the explosions. Your typical store-bought whipped cream comes with some clear warnings about the proper use of the canister and won’t just explode with use unless you’re stabbing it or throwing it into an open flame. It’s takes a little effort.
The canisters that work with the gourmet dispensers resemble the same type you might use in a paintball gun, but use nitrous-oxide to pressurize the canister and create the whipped cream. This is where the issue lies with the faulty canisters that are causing the injuries and caused the death of Burger. The faulty connections to the gas chargers lead to the risk of that charger exploding and shooting out at a high rate of speed, causing injury.
As the Daily News reports, one victim’s story details how an explosion left them with a broken sternum and six broken ribs, joining Burger to illustrate the real risk involved with these devices:
“At the hospital,” the victim is reported to have said in a French radio interview, “I was told that if the shock and blast had been facing the heart, I would be dead now.”
The good news is that the pool of faulty whipped cream dispensers seems to limited to an older set. As reported above, the manufacturer of the dispenser that killed Burger recalled these products in 2013 and their newer models were marked as safe with their release in 2015. But as the manufacturer points out, the dispensers from all brands “remain potentially dangerous as time passes.”
So should this stop you from pursuing your high class whipped cream dreams? We would say no. While care and precaution should be taken, accidents happen and they can sometimes have tragic results. Running into a faulty whipped cream dispenser might be just as likely as stepping foot onto a doomed flight. You likely have a better chance of being shot by a real bullet than experiencing an exploding whipped cream canister.
Still, it’s something to add to your list of potential dangers in the kitchen.