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3 On Your Side: Glass Bakeware Poses Risk

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jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It can be found in kitchens all across the country — glass bake ware. Do you have it in your cupboards? If so, you better watch how you use it. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter finds that if not used properly, glass bake ware can suddenly shatter — and in some cases send glass flying through your kitchen.

Pat Szczcenia and her granddaughter were slightly injured on Thanksgiving three years ago when a baking dish in her daughter’s oven broke into pieces.

Szczcenia says, “It exploded. There were like a million little pieces of glass, all over the kitchen.”

While hundreds of millions of glass dishes are used safely each year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says during a nine year span (1998-2007), an estimated 11,882 people went to the emergency room due to injuries from glass bake ware that was dropped and broken or shattered during use.

Consumer Reports says shattering bake ware may not be common but it poses a threat to consumers as it may break without warning.

Don Mays of Consumer Report says, “We wanted to investigate this because the number of complaints seemed to have increased lately.”

For its January issue, Consumer Reports tested dishes from the two big names in glass bake ware, Pyrex and Anchor Hocking. Dishes were put through extreme conditions. In one test they were baked in the oven on high heat, and placed on a wet countertop, something that is not recommended when using glassware.

The result was that the glassware shattered.

Mays says, “We were surprised by the forcefulness in which this glass broke. It didn’t just fall apart essentially it exploded.” Consumer Reports blames the problem on the type of glass now being used to make these products in the United States. Mays says, “We believe that the glass bake ware that’s on the market today is different from what we used many years ago and it probably has more propensity to shatter unexpectedly.”

Both Pyrex and Anchor Hocking say their bake ware is safe to use and has been used safely for generations. In fact Pyrex says its used the same glass for the past 60 years. But its dishes do come with a list of warnings found on the back of the label in fine print.

So what should you do when handling this type of cookware?

Well you want to avoid sudden temperature changes to the glassware. Do not add liquid, Do not place on a wet or cool surface, (like a countertop or sink). Do not handle with wet cloth and do not use under a broiler. You should always allow your oven to pre-heat before using glassware and cool down the dish before washing, refrigerating or freezing.

Reported By Jim Donovan, CBS 3


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