Viral 'Cooking Show' Warns: Your Car Is Hot Enough to Cook Pizza - and Your Kids

Celebrity chef Haim Cohen bluntly reminds parents not to forget their children in the car on Israel's hottest day of the year.

Liz Steinberg
Liz Steinberg
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Chef Haim Cohen cooks pizza in a car: Half an hour and the pizza's burnt.
Chef Haim Cohen cooks pizza in a car: Half an hour and the pizza's burnt.Credit: Facebook (Screen Shot)
Liz Steinberg
Liz Steinberg

How hot does it get inside a closed car? Hot enough to burn a pizza in less than 30 minutes. That's the message in a video released Wednesday by celebrity chef Haim Cohen.

The video, not so coincidentally released on the hottest day of the year so far, is ostensibly a promo for a new cooking program - but in fact is a safety message produced in partnership with child safety NGO Beterem. 

The point is pretty blunt - don't forget your kids in the car, because it can be deadly.

"Welcome to my new cooking show," Cohen starts in a jovial tone. "Today I'm going to teach you how to cook in the car. That's right, the car."

He goes on to assemble a pizza while standing in front of a parked jeep, and then sticks it inside. "Half an hour in the car and we'll be back," he says cheerfully.

The jeep sits in the sun and Cohen returns. Cut to a screen of a burnt pizza and dramatic music. Cohen's tone is not so cheerful anymore.

"Friends, over the summer the car is just like an oven," he says. "Check very well that no child is being left behind."

The video went viral within hours of its release on Cohen's Facebook page; within eight hours it received 65,000 views, 2,500 shares and coverage in several local media outlets.  

Temperatures soared as high as 43 degrees Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit) in central Israel on Wednesday. Several fires broke out over the course of the day.

Despite the well-publicized weather forecasts, at least one child was left in a car, Magen David Adom reported. She was discovered unharmed after a short period of time.

Several children die every year in Israel after being forgotton in cars. Between 2008 and 2013, the media reported 205 children were forgotten in cars, Beterem found. Of them,12 died and another 188 were harmed or nearly harmed.

Beterm warns that the temperature inside a parked car can rise very quickly, ultimately getting as hot as 70 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit). Leaving a child in a car is dangerous even on days that aren't particularly hot - even when the weather is a balmy 22 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit), the temperature inside a parked car can reach 47 degrees Celsius (116 degrees Fahrenheit), the NGO noted.

Also Wednesday, first aid NGO Hatzalah launched a campaign designed to reduce cases of children being forgotten in cars, local media reported. The NGO's volunteers handed out stickers that depict a sketch of a child sitting under a thermostat alongside the text, "Don't leave me alone in the car. Not even for a moment!" The stickers are being printed in languages including Hebrew, Yiddish and Arabic. The organization is encouraging parents to affix the stickers to their cars, reported NRG and Ynet.