Don't Put This Food In Your Toaster, You Could Burn Your House Down

You should pay a lot more attention to what you put in your toaster. A lot of people are reporting house fires after they left a popular breakfast food in their toasters, not realizing that it was extremely flammable.

Pastries are a quick and easy breakfast treat for the kids - all it takes is a few minutes to warm them up. But if you've ever eaten a Pop-Tart, you'll want to know about the hidden dangers, and it has nothing to do with the nutrition content.

In 1992, Thomas Nangle accidentally got a Pop-Tart stuck in his friend's toaster. Within minutes, it caught fire and damaged the kitchen, prompting Nangle to take Kellogg's to court. The company paid him $2,400 for damages and called it a day.

The Krazy Coupon Lady

A similar incident happened to a woman in 2000. She left Pop-Tarts to warm in the toaster while bringing her young kids to preschool, and returned to find a house fire. As a result, she sued for $100,000.

Now, you might be thinking anything that gets lodged against the hot element of a toaster would catch fire, but Pop-Tarts actually are much more prone to catching on fire than a piece of bread or bagel.

Serious Eats

Pop-Tarts are a non-perishable, shelf-stable food, which means they need to have low water content and ingredients to deter the growth of mold and bacteria. Unfortunately, that creates a dry environment, which can be a perfect fire-starter.

That's not all. In addition to low water activity, the ingredients in Pop-Tarts allow fire to burn for longer.

Gavin Sacks, associate professor of food science at Cornell, said: “This product is ten percent fat by weight, with most of that coming from oils. It’s going to ignite like an old-fashioned oil lantern.”

So that could be why you always burn your tongue when you eat a Pop-Tart that's only been in the toaster for a few minutes...

Maybe warm your Pop-Tarts in the oven from now on?

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