Family Urges Others Do Not Buy This Cooking Device That Left the Family With Severe Burns
A young couple suddenly found themselves writhing in pain, scalded flesh hanging in strips from their bodies. They were victims of an explosion right in their own kitchen, severely burned by a common cooking device that many people take for granted.
What cooking device?
A simple pressure cooker. The pressure cooker quickly processes meats, beans, rice and other meals that would take hours to cook normally.
Plans for an ordinary meal
Mark decided to make some soup on June 17, 2016. He didn’t have a lot of time, so he put the ingredients in a Casera pressure cooker and set the dial for ‘soup’. He walked away and let it cook. Twenty-five minutes later his partner, Cassie Hodges, entered the kitchen carrying their 12-week-old son. She told the other two children to sit in the lounge room, and set the baby down with his siblings. Mark let the pressure release valve off of the cooker, and steam released as normal. But then, something awful happened.
“I heard a click,” reports Cassie. “Suddenly I knew the lid had unlocked.”
Pain and terror
The blast of the pressure still in the pot blew off the lid and the scalding contents of the pan slammed into Cassie, covering her in scalding liquid. Her skin made a loud sizzle. Mark took the edge of the blast, his stomach and arm instantly raising huge blisters. Cassie began to writhe in pain, racing to the shower and pulling off her singlet. The children began crying, and Cassie’s daughter screamed in shock at the sight and sound of her mother’s agony.
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The burn unit
The injured couple held their frayed bodies together and attempted to comfort the children until help arrived. Cassie Hodges had been instantly blown from an ordinary meal time with her family to the agony of the Sydney Burns Unit.
How does pressure cookers work?
A pressure cooker works upon steam pressure. When the steam valve is controlled, pressure rises in the sealed pot and cooks food like dried beans or rice quickly. The higher the pressure, the shorter the cooking time. If the pressure cooker or canner is old, has a tired gasket and interlocking lid, it’s time to discard it in order to prevent an explotion. If the cooker built up enough pressure it could cause the latch to fail, but the food should not explode and burn bystanders.
Most people don’t find electric pressure cookers intuitive to use. Some of the terms, like ‘natural pressure release’ and ‘adding liquid’ might be a bit confusing. A certain amount of liquid must be added for steam to build. The natural release of pressure means the model will allow pressure to escape slowly and an indicator will show when pressure has been completely released. Then the lid will unlatch so the pot can be opened safely, about 10-15 minutes.
Cassie and Mark’s terrible experience
Doctors informed Cassie that over 12 percent of her body was burned, and it would take weeks of healing before she was healthy again. Her agony was prolonged by debridement, or removal, of her burned dead skin.
“I have never felt such pain in my life!” She declared. It was particularly onerous knowing that nights meant more agony when she tried to rest.
Mark received a deep burn on his abdomen, because he did not cool the burn quickly. He was trying to help Cassie and calm the family. They both received strong medication for pain, but Cassie had to be fed like an infant.
“I cried through the pain and Mark had to hold me and do everything else I needed.”
Because Cassie was helpless, Mark had to tend to his wounds alone.
Cassie recalls in terror that she was holding her infant son just minutes before the explosion. She warns earnestly, “I want to make sure this never happens to anyone ever again!” Cassie begs others to please reconsider before using a Casera pressure cooking device for the convenience of a quick meal.