Lawsuits alleged Pam cooking spray “exploded” on users, caused severe burns

Not Pam, but this is the best Getty Images will do.
Photo: DGLimages (Getty Images)
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Just this week—just this week!—I did a potentially foolish act by spraying Pam cooking spray onto the grilling gates with live fire underneath. It was my first time grilling a whole fish, and one of the suggestions was to spray cooking spray on both the grilling surface and the fish to ensure it won’t stick on one another. When I sprayed? Whoosh! Flames shot out from underneath. It was totally badass and totally irresponsible.

I was reminded just how dumb this was when I read in the Chicago Tribune that Conagra, maker of Pam cooking spray, was facing six lawsuits that alleged a faulty can design caused severe burns to users’ skin. According to the Tribune, Conagra manufactured a can with a vent on the underside that relieved pressure anytime it was overheated. One of the plaintiffs quoted in the story said she placed the Pam near a stove, at which point she heard a loud noise, cooking spray began coming out of the bottom of the can and “exploded into flames.” The woman said she suffered burns on 27% of her body and was in a medically induced coma for a week.

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To be clear, the alleged faulty can designs were phased out last year. And though news of this lawsuit and my stupidity are only tangentially related, let it be a lesson: Don’t be a dum-dum like me and spray anything flammable into an open fire.

Read more about this story in the Chicago Tribune.

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About the author

Kevin Pang

Kevin Pang was the founder and editor-in-chief of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace on Netflix.