5 Recalled Kitchen Products that Could Be in Your Home Right Now
These common kitchen appliances and tools have dangerous glitches that need repair
Kitchens are a dangerous environment by default, with knives and flame part of the everyday mix. While most people manage those hazards with only the occasional nick or minor burn, millions of kitchens across the country have other potential dangers lurking: defective products that have been recalled.
Government officials and safety advocates have long pushed for greater awareness of recalls, encouraging consumers to fill out product registration forms so they can be notified if they own a recalled product. However, even when they’re notified about a recall, it’s not unusual for people to ignore the remedy, allowing the dangerous products to lurk in their home indefinitely.
“From dishwashers to ovens to coffeemakers, many consumers hold on to their kitchen appliances for a long time," explains Scott Wolfson, spokesman for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. "CPSC announced numerous recalls in recent years of kitchen appliances due to fire, electrical and burn hazards. So long as a company is still in business, then it is not too late to take advantage of the free remedy offered by a recalling firm."
Wolfson urges consumers to check CPSC.gov to learn about existing recalls and sign up to receive email alerts for new recalls. "Your family’s safety can depend on it,” he says. You can also sign up to receive recall alerts from SafeBee.
Here are five products in millions of kitchens across America that have been recalled, a description of the known defect and what to do if you have one (or more) of these items.
Keurig MINI Plus coffee brewer
Nearly seven million Keurig MINI Plus Brewing systems were recalled in the U.S. and Canada after the company received more than 200 reports from customers about hot liquid spraying out of them, resulting in 90 burn injuries, according to the CPSC.
The single-cup coffee brewers were sold at major retailers between December 2009 and December 2014 for about $100. The company came up with a remedy and, as part of the recall, will send it for free to those who have a recalled machine.
To determine if you have a specific model being recalled, visit Keurig's recall site. Until the repair kit arrives, Keurig recommends not making more than two cups in "rapid succession" and staying an arm's length from the unit when it's brewing. (Photo: CPSC/CPSC)
More than 1.3 million GE dishwashers were recalled in 2012 over problems in the appliances' wiring that could cause overheating or fire. At the time of the recall GE said it had received reports of 15 incidents, including seven fires, three of which caused extensive damage.
Consumers continue to report problems with the dishwashers years later. Because the products weren't new even at the time of the recall (they were sold between 2006 and 2009), many people have reported that it’s no longer possible to replace them. Instead, if you have one of the recalled dishwashers, the manufacturer has asked that you immediately turn off the fuse or circuit breaker it’s connected to and contact GE for a rebate that can be used to discount the purchase of a new dishwasher. (Photo: CPSC/CPSC)
Chefmate tea kettles
No matter how simple a product might seem, a design defect or manufacturing error can create serious hazards. Such is the case with the Wilton Industries Chefmate 2-quart tea kettles, sold at Target stores.
They have not one but four different problems that could injure consumers. Among other things, the kettle’s aluminum bottom could melt onto a burner if the water boils out, creating a fire hazard. At the time the company recalled more than 700,000 of the tea kettles, it reported hearing of 13 incidents. Five involved steam traveling up the handle, four occurred when the base melted onto the stove burner, three involved hot water spilling out the spout, and one involved an unexpectedly hot handle.
Royal Prestige pots and pans
When you're cooking, you expect your cookware to hold up to heat. But after well over 1,000 complaints from consumers of cookware deforming or collapsing, Hy Cite Enterprises recalled 1.7 million pieces of its Royal Prestige 9-Ply Thermal Wall Cookware. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the defective cookware had the potential to burn people using it or to start a home fire.
These were no cheap pieces of cookware, either. The Italian-made pots, pans and skillets were sold for $250 to $800 apiece or in sets from $800 to $3,500.
Black & Decker Spacemaker Coffeemaker
After more than 1,600 reports from consumers, including 83 who suffered burns or cuts, Applica Consumer Products twice announced recalls of its Black & Decker Spacemaker Coffeemaker. The problem with the coffee maker, which is designed to be mounted under kitchen cabinets, is that the handles have a propensity for falling off.
If you have this coffee maker, which was sold at True Value Hardware Stores from 2008 until 2013, safety experts advise you to stop using it. Seek a refund from Applica, the company that distributed the product. (Photo: US CPSC/Flickr)