Hidden dangers lurking in your kitchen

Australians are being urged to check their kitchens for recalled appliances, with warnings that they could face burns, lacerations and even the risk of explosion.

Consumer group CHOICE says that more than 30 kitchen products have been recalled by Australian retailers and manufacturers in the past five years, but only around half have been returned.

“There could be hidden dangers lurking in your kitchen,” CHOICE editor Marg Rafferty said.

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“The list of recalled products come with a terrifying range of risks – flying blades, shattering glass, scalding burns, leaking gas and more.

“Under Australia’s weak product safety laws, these risks are only identified after products hit shelves and end up in your home,” Ms Rafferty said.

“CHOICE is encouraging every Australian to check their kitchen for recalled appliances, get the refunds they are entitled to and keep their loved ones safe.”

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The full list of 28 recalls (comprising 31 products) is listed below.

CHOICE says if you find one of the above products in your home, you should go to productsafety.gov.au, search for the product and follow the recall instructions.

Some of the products on the recall list include the Bodum Bistro Stainless Steel two slice toaster and the KitchenAid 1.7-litre electric kettle.

The Bodum Bistro toaster was recalled because it did not comply with the electrical safety standard and the fluctuating voltage could cause an electric shock.

There is a risk of an electrical shock with the Bodum Bistro toaster if a user touches the inside heating element when the toaster is plugged into the power supply and the control lever is not triggered and remains in upper position.

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The problem with the KitchenAid kettle is a lot simpler, but just as dangerous, with a loose handle being shown to separate from the body of the kettle in some cases, which could lead to severe scalding.

CHOICE lab experts also recommend Australians take a moment to check that their kitchen appliances are functioning correctly, as wear and tear can also present safety risks.

Seals, doors and hinges and gas risk are particular points of concern.

“Products like pressure cookers and blenders can have their seals deteriorate over time,” Ms Rafferty said.

“If your appliances are a few years old, it is worth checking any seals are still working effectively.

“Most manufacturers can supply replacement seals for products like pressure cookers or blenders,” she said.

“It’s also worth inspecting the doors and hinges on products like microwaves and assessing any gas appliances you have for potential points of leakage.”

Do you regularly check the product safety recall notices? Have you ever had to return a defective product? Did you return it after reading a safety notice or after receiving an injury from the product?

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Written by Ben