Cofresh, a firm of ethnic wholesale food suppliers in Leicester suffered an unusual incident at their factory in Lewisher Road, Humberstone in August, when a consignment of noodles began to smoulder, melting the plastic bags into which they were packed, which then acted as an accelerant.
On arrival at the premises, the fire brigade found that the 20m x 30m warehouse was filled with smoke, although as the smoke detectors had raised the alarm, the noodles had not burst into flames.
Fire-fighters believe a combination of hot weather and the temperature of the product combined to cause conditions where the noodles began smouldering, setting off the fire alarms. A thorough dousing with the fire hose damped down the smouldering noodles and no damage was caused to the factory, neither was production halted.
The 800kg of noodles, which were rejected as below the standard specified by Cofresh, had been packed on a pallet and left in the loading bay over the weekend for collection the following Monday.
The fire brigade have warned that this may not be an isolated incident and have advised food suppliers to beware of packing hot manufactured food into plastic bags which may encourage a rise in temperature and pose a fire risk.
Products which use a manufacturing process to extract oil to produce hard, dried finished goods are particularly susceptible to internal heating. Many popular products are made using this process, including Bombay mix and several other Asian snacks.