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US: Frozen Vegetables produce sparks in microwave

Some consumers in north Texas want to know what is wrong with their frozen vegetables. At least two people claim that when they microwaved their mixed vegetables, the carrots and beans started to spark and sizzle, ultimately bursting into flames. Justin Bryant was cooking the veggies when he noticed something wrong. Bryant said, "I heard this "zzzz" and I looked over to the microwave. I saw a spark and a little bitty flame and obviously freaked out."

Ericka Landon had the same thing happen to her. Landon said, "I was in the kitchen and heard them making the arcing noise. My big concern is what is exactly in them and what did I feed my children my husband and myself." General Mills the grower of these Jolly Green Giant sparking vegetables issued a written statement. In it, the company said: "It would appear in this case the sparking was due to the presence of naturally occurring minerals in the vegetables, like magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium."

General Mills also acknowledges it has received a few "comments" about sparking vegetables, but insists there is no need for alarm. The company says the vegetables are all perfectly safe, and still good for you. The USDA does confirm this bizarre sparking is most likely due to the minerals found the soil in which the vegetables were grown. Consumer Ericka Landon says she is concerned about a bigger problem.

"I mean it could catch my house on fire," said Landon. The worried consumers point out that while the veggies may be safe, the flames are not. General Mills says it's never heard of a microwave actually catching on fire. But the USDA still recommends if you see your vegetables start sparking turn the microwave off right away.


Publication date: 4/3/2008


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