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July 12, 2004 12:31 AM

Broken: Theater popcorn warning

picture_048Erik and Amy Kenerup write:

This warning sign is on a food warmer at Loews Cineplex in Cleveland:

    Intended for use with non-potentially hazardous foods only.

Wouldn't a "potentially hazardous" quality prevent something from being food? For example - nacho chips and bleach; glass-shard-coated popcorn; pretzel bites and cyanide.


Maybe they mean something like hot dogs, which are *potentially* hazardous when left on the warmer for too long?

Posted by: Nikita at July 12, 2004 01:54 AM

Or moist chicken, which likes bacteria if left to fester under a nice, warm lamp.

Posted by: kwyjibo at July 12, 2004 08:46 AM

According to Science for the Public Interest, isn't movie popcorn "potentially hazardous" now? It's from all that yummy coconut oil, as I recall.

Posted by: Scott Palmer at July 12, 2004 12:23 PM

Potentially hazardous food:


Posted by: Ally at July 12, 2004 02:23 PM

I think they mean foods that could potentially catch on fire if left in the warmer too long. This warning label, like most warning labels, is for lawsuit avoidance. An example would be Poptarts. A woman sued Kelloggs after she put a Pop Tart in her toaster, drove her kids to school, and came back to find her house on fire. Kelloggs could just point to the label on the box that reads: CAUTION: HEATED PASTRY MAY BE TOO HOT TO HANDLE. DO NOT USE METAL UTENSILS TO REMOVE PASTRY. CHILDREN SHOULD BE SUPERVISED WHEN TOASTING PASTRY. DO NOT LEAVE TOASTER UNATTENDED DUE TO POSSIBLE RISK OF FIRE. I haven't heard anything about this lawsuit since it was first announced, so I'm guessing it was dismissed.

Posted by: RotJ at July 20, 2004 12:21 AM

or arbys

Posted by: ykykyryrkyrk at July 20, 2004 01:04 PM

What are you people doing?

Posted by: dizzy at February 10, 2005 02:43 PM

i was wondering when someone was going to mention shards-o-glass. I saw it durind the SUPER BOWL

Posted by: unknown at March 3, 2005 02:55 PM

From an environmental health/ food science perspective, "potentially hazardous" means food that can support microbial growth. This includes foods that are moist and have a relative neutral or very slightly acidic pH. Crackers are dry and pineapple is very acidic, so these are not potentially hazardous foods. Most foods are potentially hazardous -- hamburgers, cooked veggies, mashed potatos ets so you have to hold them in the fridge or at very hot temps (140F) to prevent microbial growth.

Posted by: Rachel at March 17, 2005 11:06 AM

Wait. "Non-potentially" could mean definitely. So maybe it's only to be used with foods which are definitely hazardous.

Posted by: Brian at June 21, 2005 02:53 PM

About the Pop-tart:

I blame the toaster.

Posted by: Jake Nelson at July 26, 2005 05:31 PM

This could mean simply that you shouldn't microwave foods that could potentially send someone into anaphlactic shock. Such foods include: peanut butter/ peanut products, fish products, anything which could cause a heart attack, and anything else worth eating that I didn't mention.

Posted by: Sido at August 11, 2005 02:42 AM

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