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Product regulators warn of more shattering glass bowls

Consumer Reports News: November 03, 2011 02:08 PM

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada have issued a recall alert for more than 18,000 glass bowls that shatter under sudden temperature changes or impact.

Nearly all of the defective bowls, made by Libbey Glass of Toledo, Ohio, were sold to commercial food services establishments. However, approximately 100 of these defective bowls may have been sold to consumers in the U.S. and Canada from August 2010 to September 2011.

Serious injuries can result from glassware that shatters unexpectedly. In January, a Consumer Reports investigation found more than 120 cases of glass bakeware unexpectedly shattering during use. In one case, a mother and daughter were cut and burned after the bakeware used to cook a ham at 350-degrees shattered on the kitchen countertop.

By September, Consumer Reports had received more than 300 reports of shattering American Pyrex (made by World Kitchen) bakeware and Anchor Hocking glassware. Sixty of those incidents involved cut and burn injuries. Consumer Reports safety experts have called up the CPSC to look into the issues of unexpected shattering glass from these companies. And while the CPSC has issued recalls—such as this current warning—regarding shattering glassware from other companies, to date, there has been no recall of Pyrex-branded wares.

In this current recall of Libbey Glass bowls, consumers are urged to immediately stop using the faulty and return them to the point of purchase for a refund. Commercial customers should contact Libbey Glass Inc. to arrange for destruction of the product and receipt of a credit or refund.

For additional information, consumers should call Libbey Glass Inc. toll-free (800-982-7063) or visit the firm's website:

For the record, World Kitchen, the maker of Pyrex glassware, objects to the reference to its bakeware in the above news item. They say the number of reports of Pyrex glassware unexpectedly breaking is extremely small compared to the more than a billion units of Pyrex glassware sold and used in the U.S.; that according to federal data, the number of injuries caused by such breakage is an even smaller fraction; that Pyrex is tempered to increase its mechanical strength; and that tempered soda lime glass is less susceptible to mechanical breakage than borosilicate glassware, another type of glass used to make bake-resistant products. These points and others are also made in our earlier bakeware stories which are linked to in the item above.

Libbey Glass Recalls Glass Bowls Due to Laceration Hazard [CPSC]
Libbey Glass Bowl Recall [Health Canada]

Paul Eng

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