Choice calls for ACCC investigation after Thermomix 'explosion'

Thermomix customer Alysha Gregory's burn on day three after her appliance allegedly exploded over her arm. Source: Supplied

Consumer advocacy group Choice has called for a government investigation into the advice given to Thermomix users about how to safely use the appliance after two women claimed to have suffered burns when their machines allegedly malfunctioned.

Perth mother Danika Jones was cooking pasta sauce in January when she said the lid of her Thermomix TM31 allegedly flew open and sent hot liquid splattering all over her upper body.

After hearing Ms Jones' claim, Perth resident Alysha Gregory told SBS News she also suffered a burn to her left arm when the measuring cup in her Thermomix cracked and spilled boiling soup over her.

Choice spokesperson Tom Godfrey issued a statement on Friday.

"If you have an old model Thermomix and have concerns around the product's safety, don't hesitate to contact the company. And you can seek a remedy under Australian Consumer Law," he said.

"We have asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to investigate the advice to consumers about how to safely use the product."

Ms Jones is taking out legal action against the manufacturer after suffering second-degree burns to her arms, chest and stomach, while Ms Gregory said she required extensive treatment.

"At first I thought it wasn’t too bad and went to the chemist to get some cream and bandages to relieve the burning sensation," Ms Gregory said.

"After a rough night with my arm I decided to go to the hospital and have it looked at by a professional. I was very lucky the soup wasn’t on my arm any longer or I would have had to have surgery. "

Ms Gregory said prior to the incident she had had to purchase several new measuring cups as they kept cracking.

She said she had not sought any compensation from Thermomix for her injuries, but had "made people aware of what could happen".

"I have nothing towards Thermomix, I have recently purchased their TM5 and love their product, no matter what people say about them on social media," Ms Gregory said. 

Ms Jones, who declined to speak to SBS News, is in the process of suing Thermomix over her injuries.

A spokesperson from Thermomix told SBS News the company tried to investigate the incident by speaking to Ms Jones, but were knocked back.

"Since being made aware of this incident in January, Thermomix has been very cooperative in this case," the spokesperson said.

"We have made, and continue to make, every endeavour to work with Ms Jones to investigate this matter.

"Unfortunately, Ms Jones has declined our requests to investigate the appliance. 

"Without a thorough investigation of the appliance, the manufacturer is unable to determine the cause of this incident. Unfortunately, on occasion the appliance can be used incorrectly.”

Ms Jones described it as an "awful ordeal" that she wouldn’t wish upon anyone else.

“I had popped the pasta sauce ingredients in the Thermomix using the same recipe I’ve used every week since I bought the machine more than two years ago,” Ms Jones said.

“Towards the end of the process it was pureeing the sauce when it started making a funny noise and vibrating.

“I walked over to turn it off and as I did that, it just exploded – the lid blew off and hot liquid went everywhere, all over me. The pain was intense.”

Ms Jones was rushed to hospital for treatment and was given an electromagnetic device to wear for 20 hours each day as the burns healed.

The seal had recently been replaced by Thermomix after a product recall.

Hoping to push for the manufacturer to recall the TM31 model, Ms Jones employed law firm Slater and Gordon.

Lawyer Nakkie Le Roux said Ms Jones suffered the injuries despite following the manufacturer’s instructions.

“Preparing meals in a Thermomix has become an everyday activity in many kitchens all over Australia and it is very concerning that such an incident has occurred," Ms Le Roux said.

“We commend Danika for taking a stand and warning others about the potential dangers.”

The $2000 kitchen appliance is in around 80,000 homes in Australia.

Source: SBS

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