Michael Gollust

When I checked my food processor, sure enough, it looked like a piece of the blade was about to come off.

December 19, 2016

I was scrolling through my email last Tuesday night when a message from my mom popped up, headed “Cuisinart recall.”

I like a good recall as much as anyone, particularly from a product that I own and use, so I clicked the link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website to learn that “the food processor’s riveted blade can crack over time and small metal pieces of the blade can break off into the processed food.”

Yikes.

Apparently, the maker of Cuisinart products has received 69 reports of folks finding broken blade pieces in processed food, along with 30 reports of “mouth lacerations or tooth injuries.” As Cuisinart points out, the number of incidents is very small relative to the large number of riveted blades sold over the years, but it’s still some troubling food for thought.

I wandered into the kitchen and pulled out my Cuisinart (a gift, in fact, from Mom many years ago) to observe that, lo and behold, I had a model number matching those in the recall and a stainless steel blade constructed with the telltale four rivets holding the metal to its plastic handle. My blade was actually showing signs of deterioration, with tiny cracks running from each rivet, and at least one piece of metal possibly on the verge of breaking off.

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I reached out to Cuisinart’s media representatives to learn more and also sent a picture of my blade. Dan Kulp, of Rachel Litner Associates, responded quickly, confirming that my blade was indeed one of those being recalled, and referring me to the Cuisinart recall page for more information.

I was happy to take the blade out of commission right away, as Cuisinart is advising its customers. But I did feel some pangs of guilt, realizing that I’d first noticed these cracks some time ago without contemplating the risk they posed. (I must have thought blithely that a little blade cracking is a natural process, like the gradual conditioning that goes into a solid cast-iron pan.)

While I wait for my replacement blade to arrive, I’m sorry to say there’ll be no parsley-walnut pesto or spinach-turkey meatballs (family favorites I whip up in the Cuisinart) for the foreseeable future. But it’s certainly a relief to steer clear of the potential danger.

And I might not have even known about the issue at all, if for Mom’s email. Thanks, Mom!