Exploding Rhubarb Chutney Destroys U.K. Apartment

Homemade rhubarb chutney, a gift to a 66-year-old in Henley-on-Thames, U.K., was quite a hit — enough to cause a kitchen redecoration.


It seemed innocent enough when Margaret Goodwin’s friend gave her a homemade jar of rhubarb chutney. 

Tucked away in her refrigerator to consume at her leisure, the chutney sat for a mere five days before blowing up, causing the door to rip off its hinges and shatter the glass shelf.

“It had only been in the fridge for five days, and I was looking forward to enjoying it,” Goodwin, 66, told The Telegraph. “I didn’t expect it to blow up before I could get to it.”

The chutney began to ferment and exude methane, which can be explosive when mixed with air, The Daily Meal reported. The fridge has been shut for about 12 hours, not giving the methane anywhere to escape, causing the big bang.

“You wouldn’t think a little jar of rhubarb chutney could cause so much devastation,” said Goodwin, a retired admin worker.

The explosion shook her bed, waking her up at 7 a.m. She called 999, and the responding firefighters were baffled at what caused the explosion. The wiring of the fridge was functioning as normal.

“The noise was absolutely deafening, even in my bedroom,” Goodwin said. “When I went to investigate, I wasn’t sure at first what happened. We don’t have gas in the building but it was obvious something out of the ordinary had happened. I was quite shaken up.”

Paul Herrington, the watch manager at Henley fire station, said “the force the door came off with could have caused serious harm if the woman had been in the kitchen at the time.”

Goodwin’s friend has not had any similar scenario happen with any of the other jars from that batch, nor any other chutneys she has made in the past.

“She’s been wonderful since it happened — she’s been round to help me clear up and she took my frozen stuff away to put in her fridge and freezer while I sort myself out with a new fridge,” Goodwin said.


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