Students, office workers, and anyone who wants a quick bowl of noodle soup are vulnerable to burn injuries, says Dr. Warren Garner of the University of California’s County Hospital in Los that comes in Styrofoam cups.
Dr. Garner says that at least two or three patients each week come into the hospital’s burn unit because of this type of food product.
The design of the cups makes the likely to tip over. They are much smaller at the base, making them top heavy when filled with liquid. Small children, especially, are frequent victims because they can easily pull the cup over, often on top of them because they are reaching up to a table.
Dr. Garner says that there is no other product so closely linked with this type of injury.
A dozen calls to burn units revealed that this type of injury is not limited to Los Angeles. Eight out of the 12 called said that they treat two or three victims each week, with most of the injured being children.
And some noodle soups are more dangerous than others -the easier they are to tip, the more they are to cause injuries. Some brands of instant noodle soup come in short, wide containers that are much more difficult to tip over. This was demonstrated by a study conducted by Dr. David Greenhalgh at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Northern California. It turns out the Cup Noodles by Nissin are the most dangerous, with those manufactured by Nicecook the most difficult to turn over.
However, soup manufacturers are not inclined to redo their cup designs, even though it has been demonstrated convincingly that making the base of the cup wider and the top narrower would significantly reduce injuries.
Source: National Public Radio, “Why Burn Doctors Hate Instant Soup“, by Maria Zapeda, Dec. 5, 2011.