Rebecca Burger, a French lifestyle blogger, died on June 18 when a whipped cream canister she was using exploded and a part struck her in the chest triggering a heart attack.
News of her death was posted by her family to her Instagram page. Although the post doesn’t mention the brand of the canister, the Associated Press reports that it was an Ard’time product that was recalled in France in 2013 due to previous reports of explosions causing injuries.
Voici un exemple de siphon à chantilly qui a explosé et percuté le thorax de Rebecca, entraînant son décès. Précision : le siphon qui a engendré sa mort quant à lui été mis sous scellé. N'utilisez pas ce genre d'ustensile chez vous ! Plusieurs dizaines de milliers d'appareils défectueux sont encore en circulation.
Trans: This is an example of the Chantilly cream siphon that exploded and struck Rebecca’s thorax, leading to her death. To be precise: the siphon that led to her death, on the other hand, was sealed. Don’t use this type of tool at home! Tens of thousands of defective devices are still in circulation.
French consumer watchdog group, 60 Millions de Consommateurs, launched a campaign to have all whipped cream canisters removed from the market in 2013. At the time, there were 15 brands of whipped cream canisters deemed dangerous that were available in France.
“We are up to 60 accidents” that have been reported since 2010, Benjamin Douriez, deputy editor of the 60 Millions magazine, said to the AP. “It is, to our knowledge, the first time there has been a death from such an explosion.”
Previous incidents involving faulty whipped cream canisters include a woman in Corsica who lost an eye as a result of one explosion and another who suffered six broken ribs and a broken sternum.
“At the hospital, I was told that if the shock and blast had been facing the heart, I would be dead now,” she told RTL Radio at the time.
Rebecca Burger promoted the Austrian fitness brand Women’s Best on her page.
Doug Meester, president of Cream Right Canada, maufacturers of nitrous oxide cream cartridges and siphons, said the same product that killed Burger was likely available in Canada and he still sees it on Amazon.
“Ard’time is not a brand name, it’s a factory in China, and they can put whatever name on it they want,” he says to Global News. “When you buy things on sites like Amazon, people don’t investigate where it’s from or whether it follows codes.”
Meester recalls visiting the factory in China that produced the deadly canister and noticed something was off.
“The plastic they were using in the cartridge holders was inadequate. I went to them and told them they’re making a dangerous product,” he recalls.
While the EU established safety standards for pressurized vessels in 2014, North America has yet to establish similar ones, although Meester says they’re very close to finalizing them.
“If they’re going to use plastic components, especially for the charger holders, they need to be safe. The vessels themselves have to accept more pressure than the eight-gram cartridge that’s being infused in them,” he says.
For consumers looking to buy similar products, Meester says there are only four Asian factories that he trusts: Kayser, ISI, Mosa and Liss. Until North America adopts safety standards, he advises to only seek out products made in these factories (although their brand names will differ).
In an unrelated incident, he says that a Chinese factory made a copycat product of one of Cream Right’s soda siphons in 2012 and reports of explosions got back to him.
“We shut down production of that product because of confusion — we couldn’t separate our product from the knockoffs on the market,” he says. “They were producing a substandard product that could have been confused with ours. It was upsetting.”
There has been an outpouring of support for Burger and her family since her death. Her more than 169,000 Instagram followers have posted a number of comments. Notably, user @itascasundancer wrote: “Mine [whipped cream canister] is going into the trash today. RIP Rebecca :(”
We are sorry to announce the sad news of losing this beautiful soul. Our french athlete Rebecca Burger (@RebeccaBlikes) passed away. Rebecca was not only a great fitness figure but a generous and kind person to work with. Please pray for her soul to rest in peace and for her family to stay strong. We will always be proud of you Rebecca ❤