Original, 11/16/17: NutriBullet is under fire again. This time, 22 people are suing the company over injuries related to using the high-speed blender, claiming the machine exploded due to pressure from inside of the container. As a result, the spinning blade harmed some users and the hot contents caused severe burns on others.
Brendan Cosso, who is one of the plaintiffs, told FOX 11 he used his NutriBullet for years, however, this past September his appliance exploded after just 20 seconds of blending a breakfast drink. "This thing just chopped my hand to pieces pretty much," Cosso claims. "I was making it, went to grab it, the container exploded off and my hand went right into the blades." Cosso says he had to get stitches in his hand, but says he still can't feel his finger.
Another plaintiff, Sheryl Utal, told CBS News she experienced second-degree burns after her shattered. "It just came flying out all over me, all over the kitchen, the ceilings, the walls," Utal says. "And it was on my chest. It also had hit me in the face as well."
Meanwhile, plaintiff Rosa Rivera told CBS News her face was burned after her blender exploded and she wants to warn people not to use the product.
This isn't the first time reports of exploding units have been made. Back in March, London film director Richard Moore claimed he was blending a peanut butter smoothie when he noticed the blades started spinning faster than usual, then the machine exploded. "It felt like my hands were on fire," Moore told Today Tonight Adelaide about the accident, adding that he spent multiple nights in the hospital and has faced sleepless nights due to pain.
A corporate attorney for NutriBullet, Mark Suzumoto, told FOX 11 the injuries are the result of misusing of the blender, saying it is "physically impossible" for the machine to burst after blending cool or room temperature contents for 15 or 20 seconds. Although, he did say they are investigating the issue.,
The NutriBullet manual does warn that over-blending can cause food to heat up contents to an unsafe degree.
"Do not put hot liquids in any of the blending vessels before blending. Start with cool or room temperature ingredients. Heated ingredients can create internal pressure in a sealed blending vessel, which may erupt on opening and cause thermal injury," the manual reads. "Friction from the rotating blade can cause ingredients to heat and generate internal pressure in the sealed vessel. Do not continuously operate for more than one minute. If the vessel is warm to touch, allow to cool before carefully opening pointed away from your body. Never permit any blended mixture to sit inside a sealed vessel without first releasing internal pressure."
Most people use their NutriBullet for smoothies, sauces and other room temperature dishes, but the brand does promote recipes for soup — though only certain models can make them. The NutriBullet RX has a "seven-minute heating cycle that creates fresh, piping hot nutrient-extracted soups and beverages," according to marketing claims. This kind of heating is not uncommon in new, high-end blenders, but if you're worried about safety or think it's going to take more than a minute to blend, a safer choice for making and blending soup may be an immersion blender, says Betty Gold, Senior Product Analyst in the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab of the Good Housekeeping Institute.
"All you have to do is lower it into your pot to blend vegetables with the broth — no need to dump everything into the blender and get a whole other bowl or dish dirty," Gold explains. She adds to always read your appliance manuals carefully. Don't use a blender to blend hot liquids, if advised not to, and always remove or leave open the opening in the lid to let the hot air escape.
Update, 11/17/17: A spokeswoman for NutriBullet provided an official statement in response to recent lawsuits and reiterated the importance of following the manual with every use.
"Customer safety and satisfaction are paramount at NutriBullet. Reports of blenders, which have operated normally for years, suddenly turning cool ingredients into scalding hot mixtures after less than 20 seconds of normal operation are perple and contrary to the hundreds of millions of uses by satisfied NutriBullet customers worldwide. We will investigate the claims thoroughly and analyze the blenders in question to determine exactly what happened. Whatever the circumstances surrounding these accidents, we wish prompt and complete recoveries to those involved."