It’s the Pop-Tarts. They could be dangerous. And your toaster, too. What I have to tell you is a shocking tale of innocent trust, of leaving Pop-Tarts in a toaster to drive the kids to school, and of Pop-Tarts getting stuck in the unattended toaster and causing a fire while the person who put the Pop-Tarts in the toaster was taking the kids to school.
This is what happened to the Hurff family. And Brenda Hurff is suing The Kellogg Company, which makes Pop-Tarts. She is also suing Black and Decker, which makes the toaster. No word yet on whether she is suing herself for leaving the toaster unattended. Over the past ten years, the U.S. government has received 17 reports of fires involving toaster pastries. That’s an incredible 1.7 toaster-pastry-related fires per year. Apparently the jam in Pop-Tarts is a little more flammable then the bread in bread. Let’s calculate the risk here.
This year the Pop-Tart people reported $500 million in U.S. sales. It costs about $2 per box of Pop-Tarts. If there are six pastries to a box, 15 billion Pop-Tarts were sold this year. With tarts toasted two at a time, there were 7.5 billion opportunities this year to lose your home to Pop-Tarts. An average 1.7 reported incidents per year means that your chances of being burned by Pop-Tarts during any given toasting are about 1 in 4 billion. Yet, Pop-Tarts continue to be inserted into toasters. And people also keep putting food in frying pans on stoves hamburgers, scrambled eggs, you name it. People, listen to me: Don’t play with fire. Just buy cereal. Cold cereal. It’s safer.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.