Kathleen Howlin gave evidence that she cooked three Drover Meat skinless sausages at her home on June 8, 1999. She had purchased the sausages a couple of days earlier at a Wexford supermarket.
She described taking the wrappings off the sausages before putting them on the frying pan. When they were cooked, she took up one sausage and it exploded in her face. She recalled that there was a loud bang and that there was a lot of residue of the sausage left in the kitchen. The sausage had completely disintegrated.
Howlin suffered burn marks to her face, fingers and hand. Her left eyelid was sore for about six months after the incident, she said.
Answering questions from Paul Kavanagh, representing Drover Meats, Howlin said that she had put two or three tablespoons of vegetable oil on the pan and that it was at medium heat when she cooked the sausages. She denied overheating the frying pan and had no explanation as to what caused the sausage to explode.
Howlin’s son Thomas testified that on the day in question his mother asked him what he wanted for his dinner and he asked for sausages and chips. He recalled hearing a loud bang and then jumping on the floor. “When I got up I heard my mother screaming,” he said.