Fondue: Tabletop Hazard

    “Fondue: Tabletop Hazard,” Ensign, Jan. 1975, 66

    Fondue: Tabletop Hazard

    Fondue’s popularity is on the rise (“Fabulous Fondue,” Ensign, August 1973), but so are related accidents.

    Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System reports some accident areas: spattering bits of meat become sparks to ignite pots of hot oil; oil drippings burst into flame on hot stoves and burner units; liquid fuel cans explode as burner units in fondue pots are refueled; and scalding oil-spills result in painful skin burns.

    One hurried hostess, taking a pot of nearly boiling oil from the stove to the table, suffered second and third degree burns on her arms and legs when the loosened pot handle turned in her hands, spilling the scalding oil.

    The Food and Drug Administration’s Bureau of Product Safety offers five tips on how to select and use a fondue pot:

    1. Does the pot have a permanently bonded, heat resistant handle?

    2. Does it have covers for both pots and burner units?

    3. Is the stand broad-based for increased stability? If possible, select a pot with a grease shield at the perimeter of the base.

    4. Always use a tray under the pot to catch spills and to insulate the table surface.

    5. Before refueling, extinguish the flame completely, and let the burner cool for several minutes. Alton L. Thygerson, Brigham Young University Department of Health Science

    [illustrations] Illustrated by Phyllis Luch