There’s a large, dark, murky space that exists between the realms of common sense and clear and accurate packaging. It’s the space in which cups that don’t say “Caution: Contents Hot” live. It’s also the space in which a woman is suing Aldi, over a turkey burger she says exploded after she followed the directions on the label.
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reports that a Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania woman has filed a lawsuit against the grocery chain over the incident, which she says caused “burns and permanent scarring.” The burgers in question were frozen Kirkwood Turkey Burgers, which the plaintiff said she purchased from an Aldi near Pittsburgh in the summer of 2018.
In August, according to the lawsuit, the woman cooked the frozen burgers using the “to fry” instructions written on the packaging. Per Action News 4:
Those instructions, according to the lawsuit, were as follows: “Preheat skillet on medium heat. Cook frozen burgers in a small amount of vegetable oil 7-9 minutes per side.”
[The woman] said she followed those instructions and soon after placing one of the burgers in a small amount of vegetable oil, the burger exploded, causing [her] to suffer second-degree burns to both hands and forearms and associated permanent scarring.
Can you panfry frozen burger patties? Yes. Do you need to pay attention to what’s happening in the pan anytime you’re frying anything? Yes. It’s totally possible that this woman was paying complete attention, and that this was just a terrible fluke. Regardless, in general, being cautious when hot oil is involved is good—cautious with heat, caution with how often you flip the patty, caution with your proximity the pan, and so on.
The woman is seeking more than $35,000 in damages.
Aldi has not publicly commented on the lawsuit.