Wheat bags are safe. Why are they vilified in the press?
DISCLAIMER: We did not supply the person in the article with their microwave heat pack, but wanted to raise important issues regarding wheat bag safety.
Due to a very small number of isolated incidents; wheat bags continue to be villified in the press. This news report, published last month in The Bolton News, is a textbook example of what we - as a reputable manufacturer of wheat bags - have to contend with. Wheat bags are undoubtedly and unquestionably safe if used in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. At some point, the press must concede that there's nothing inherently dangerous about wheat bags and this should be reflected in their approach to the subject. Let me start with an interesting quote from the report:
"Fire crews and an ambulance went to the aid of the 81-year-old who left the microwaveable bag in too long after she became distracted."
If a wheat bag is left in for too long - it's usually because of one of two things. Either they've made their wheat bag at home and have made a dangerous presumption on how long to heat their bag for, or they've purchased their heat pack from a disreputable manufacturer who have not provided safe, accurate heating times. Why is the wheat bag portrayed in an negative tone if the quote very clearly describes the elderly lady as distracted? Isn't this simply a case of human error?
The message here is quite simple and one we've been educating our customers on for years. Do not make your own homemade wheat bag and only purchase a heat pack from a reputable manufacturer whose products are compliant with British Safety Standards. This way, you know the heating times are safe, accurate and in accordance with the safety standard (BS8433). Another unsettling and misinformed quote is courtesy of Watch Manager Mark Anderson, who claims:
"It just brings home just how dangerous these (wheat bags) are... If people are going to use them I would advise them to stay with it while it is being heated up - or look at safer ways of warmth, such as a hot water bottle."
Isolated incidents such as these are so far and few between that it's a shame the reputation of perfectly harmless microwave heat packs are being dragged through the mud. Microwave wheat bags were in fact first developed as a safer alternative to Hot Water Bottles, due to the likelihood of scalding with the latter. You simply don't have this issue with a wheat bag. If you're partial to the shape, WheatyBags offers a lovely wheat bag in the shape of your classic hot water bottle.
A quick analogy for those not convinced: when you heat a ready meal, do you follow the instructions to a tee, or do you heat the product for longer than specified? If you heat the product for longer than the specified time and your microwave blows up, is your ready meal to blame? Of course not. Here's another quote from Watch Manager Mark Anderson:
“In my opinion it’s also not the sort of thing that you should put in a microwave before food. There is no scientific proof of this, but my personal thoughts are that I would not put food in after the wheat pack.”
Wheat is a natural grain, the very same grain used to make a loaf of bread and thousands of other food products. It's not a hazardous chemical, nor is it toxic. There's a simple reason Watch Manager Mark Anderson offered a "no scientific proof" disclaimer prior to sharing his personal thoughts. His personal thoughts are unsubstantiated fear mongering that disparage wheat bags in the most
Please support WheatyBags and our British Safety Standards (BS8433) compliant microwave heat packs. The wellbeing of our customers is of paramount importance to us, which is why all of our microwave heating pads have undergone rigorous testing to ensure their safety.
Reap the benefits of non-invasive heat therapy for pain relief with our range of safe, BSS-compliant wheat bags. Below is a list of top tips to ensure safe, beneficial usage from your wheat bag:
Do not make your own homemade wheat bag. It's simply not worth the risk.
Purchase your wheat bag from a reputable manufacturer; one that supply their contact details on all correspondance.
Ensure the wheat bag you purchase is BS8433 British Safety Standards compliant.
Follow the provided instructions to a tee and do not use a wheat bag without instructions.
Never fold your bag in half when heating. Gentle crimping of the corners is permissable if your microwave is small.
Ensure your microwave turntable plate is free from food and moisture contamination, as this can create hotspots.
Ensure your microwave turntable can rotate freely when heating.
For more information, please give our 2015 press release on wheat bag safety a read: Stay Warm - Stay Safe.