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An Aldi shopper has been left covered in burns after one of the retailer’s faulty pressure cookers “blew up” in her face, only narrowly missing her toddler.
Giovanna, 36, was preparing chicken soup for dinner Sunday evening when suddenly the three-year-old device “exploded”, striking the Sydney mum in the back and neck with boiling water.
The lid from the cooker also shot towards her body, scalding a significant section of her upper arm.
“After 10 or 15 minutes on the heat, it just blew up by itself,” Giovanna told Yahoo News Australia.
“My son and his friend were running past the kitchen just a second before it happened. The lid would have gone directly into my son’s head,” she said.
After being struck with the boiling contents of the soup, which could have been as hot as 120 degrees, Giovanna’s friend immediately patted her burned skin dry.
She then called Health Direct and got straight into the shower to run cold water over the burns, before driving herself to the emergency department at Northern Beaches Hospital.
Giovanna’s friend, who has a son the same age, looked after the two toddlers, aged two-and-a-half while the injured mum rushed herself to hospital where she held for four hours.
Her quick action and the immediate treatment of the burns to stop them worsening, likely resulted in a better outcome than had she of not reacted so promptly, Giovanna said.
“I think I was very lucky because everything was addressed quite quickly. I think I could have had much worse burns,” she said.
Up until Sunday, Giovanna and her partner would use the Aldi pressure cooker at least once a week, completely oblivious to the fact a recall was issued for the dangerous device in 2017.
The $60 six-litre stainless steel 2017 model from the Crofton Chef's Collection, imported from H&H Asia Limited, was recalled in August of 2017 due to a defective lid locking mechanism.
Product Safety Australia said this posed a “risk of scalding the user” and urged consumers to return the product to Aldi immediately for a refund.
In a report published by Choice in December of 2017, a total of six people were reported to have been seriously injured by the pressure cooker, four of which occurred after the recall was issued.
Aldi advertised the recall in stores, on its website, LinkedIn and Facebook, but was widely criticised for making no mention of it in its Special Buys catalogue, which has a massive cult following.
Mum disappointed that more wasn’t done to inform shoppers
Giovanna said she was disappointed that more had not been done to inform the public about the dangerous device, and was shocked at what Aldi told her when she contacted the store to complain.
“They gathered information from me and said they would process a refund, and that was all,” she said.
Aside from the initial posts Aldi shared to social media, there is one sole notice on its website remaining, as well as the three-year-old alert on Product Safety Australia.
“What about the elderly people who don’t use the internet? They would never find out about the recall,” Giovanna said.
“They told me it’s the customer’s responsibility to go to their website and check the recall section.
“Basically they were saying it was my fault, because I didn’t go to the website. But I had no idea they sold me an explosive product.”
Since the incident, her son had seemed notably disturbed, and was “like a broken record” with talking about the “explosion”.
“Since that happened, he’s been acting very odd. He just wants to be close and hold me,” Giovanna said.
Aldi says it ‘strictly complied with ACCC recall requirements’
An Aldi spokesperson said in a statement that “the Crofton Chef’s Collection 6L Pressure Cookers sold in June 2017 were recalled in August of the same year”.
“Aldi strictly complies with all ACCC requirements regarding recalls and in this case, due diligence has been given to ensure that customers were made aware of the product’s fault,” the statement said.
“This included notices displayed on our website, in-store and on our Facebook page.”
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