Of all the things you expect to be dangerous in the kitchen, the whipped cream dispenser — one of those fancy pressurized ones — is the last piece of equipment you’d consider to be lethal. But after the tragic death of Instagram model Rebecca Burger late last week, it’s probably a good idea to reconsider whether using pressurized canisters while you’re cooking (or dispensing the cream directly into your mouth) is safe for the home chef.
According to The Washington Post, the french model was using the dispenser on Saturday when it exploded with no warning, striking her in the chest and triggering a heart attack. Emergency services were able to revive Burger on the scene, but the 33-year-old died tragically at the hospital the next day. In the wake of her death, which was announced yesterday, Burger’s family posted the object that killed her on Instagram in order to warn others of the potential dangers of the common household item.
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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.
A translation of the caption, via WaPo:
Here’s an example of the cartridge/siphon for Chantilly cream that exploded and struck Rebecca’s chest, killing her. Take note: the cartridge that caused her death was sealed. Do not use this type of device in your home! Tens of thousands of these appliances are still in circulation.
Burger isn’t the first person to be hurt by such a dispenser, although her case may be the most high-profile. Since 2010, people have reported numerous injuries from the canister, ranging from broken teeth to broken sternums to the loss of an eye. In 2013, one victim detailed their injuries from the canister to RTL Radio, saying “I had six broken ribs, and my sternum was broken. At the hospital, I was told that if the shock and blast had been facing the heart, I would be dead now.”
According to The Guardian, Ard’Time, the manufacturer of the siphon that killed Burger has not accepted responsibility, saying that a link “has not been established” between their product and the accident. Though the company has issued recalls in the past, it’s believed that all products manufactured after 2015 are safe.
Still, if you’ve got one of these in your kitchens, you should really consider whether you want to continue using it or whether it’s time to throw the thing out and start churning your whipped cream yourself. As a 2014 warning states, “when a user screws a new gas cartridge into the head of one of the defective canisters the resulting pressure causes the spray nozzle to break free and fire off like a rubber bullet.”