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Slow cookers could pose potential health hazard | News

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Slow cookers could pose potential health hazard

ATLANTA -- 11Alive's Center for Investigative Action wants to warn you about a potential hazard in your kitchen. It has taken some of our viewers by surprise and has even caused some injuries. 

"When it shattered, it shattered, little pieces of itty bitty glass, everywhere!" said Crystal Spriggs, explaining what happened with the glass lid on her Crock Pot.  

"I had a roast in it and I went to take the lid off to stir it and make sure everything was okay and the lid exploded in my hand."

The Fayetteville mother was startled.

"Oh my gosh, I cut my hand, glass was all in my food, I had my kids and I was terrified that one of my children was going to get cut," Spriggs said.

We've been hearing similar reports about slow cookers from others. Crock Pot, the most commonly known brand, is made in China.

 "When we called in, they acted like it was a freak accident, that it never happened before. We had to send pictures to prove that it happened," she said.

We dug further to see if consumers had filed complaints with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Over the last five years, there have been 366 formal complaints about slow cookers, 32 involving glass lids breaking, shattering or exploding.

One woman reported she had to be treated in the hospital when "a piece of glass flew into her eye." Another reported being "punctured while cleaning up."

Crock Pot, Hamilton Beach, Calphalon, Sensio, and CE North America were all the slow cooker manufacturers identified by consumers on the the Consumer Product Safety Commissions website, saferproducts.gov.

The CPSC told 11Alive it is aware of incident reports involving glass slow cooker lids breaking during use, stating, "We are looking at this issue. We encourage consumers to report incidents to CPSC at www.saferproducts.gov"

Crock Pot's manufacturer, Jarden Consumer Solutions, told 11Alive, that consumers need to pay attention to the warnings that come with the cooker, including "avoiding sudden temperature changes." The company said several events can lead to glass breaking, including "thermal shock, sudden contact with hard surfaces, improper care or usage, etc., and this breakage may occur sometime after the causal event."

Jarden said it would reach out to Spriggs and others who complained to us.

"The Crock Pot people, they actually got in touch with me," Spriggs told us on a follow-up visit. And she said they listened. 

"I'm actually okay with their response. I really am. I just hope that people know in the future that this is going to happen, well I mean, it can happen," she said.

They sent her a new Crock Pot and she gave it to us. It's still a mystery what is happening.

The other manufacturers of slow cookers posted similar responses to Crock Pot, stating that their products meet guidelines and the glass is made to pass rigorous tests.

We're going to continue to follow this and let you know what we learn.