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While staying and cooking in the kitchen is always a comfortable and welcome reprieve from our busy lives, it does not come without risks.
With the holidays just around the corner and cooking familial feasts is to be expected, we have compiled some kitchen safety tips for keeping yourself safe while cooking.
By adhering to this checklist, you and your loved ones can reduce the risk of injury or illness while cooking at home.
Kitchen safety issues like fires and burns are far more common than you might think. Keep an extinguisher in the kitchen at all times and learn how to use it in case of an emergency.
Acquire the knowledge necessary to put out various fires, including grease and electrical ones. For example, while water is a logical response to fire, you can also use baking soda or a lid to put out the flames.
An extinguisher is best for putting out a fire in your oven, while all you have to do to put out a fire in your microwave is turn it off and keep the door closed.
Long, baggy sleeves can get in the way, which isn’t good when you’re working with an open flame or hot liquid. Most of the time tops without sleeves or sleeves that fit well work best.
It’s more likely that a dull knife will slip and cut you than a sharp one. One of the easiest ways to keep your knives safe is to keep them sharp. A simple way to keep a knife’s edge sharp is to use a knife sharpener. You should also choose the best knife for the job. In other words, you shouldn’t use a meat cleaver to cut strawberries.
The kitchen must always be sanitized to prevent food poisoning. Here are some ways to ensure that food preparation would be free from contaminants:
This should go without saying, yet people often overlook it. Stay mindful. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water before and after preparing food. In addition, if raw meats or eggs have touched any surfaces in your home, including the sink, you should thoroughly clean them to eliminate any potential for the transmission of food-borne illness.
The last thing any of us wants to do is to have to do more dishes, but this is one time when that just isn’t an option. Cutting meat, fruit, or vegetables on the same board is a definite method to expose yourself to salmonella. We recommend using separate cutting boards for different foods to prevent the spread of germs. If you absolutely must use the same board for both fruit and vegetable chopping and meat preparation, it is best to do the former first, then wash the board with soap and hot water.
The use of closed-toe shoes in the kitchen is mandatory. Shoes not only safeguard against sharp objects, but also against boiling water or oil spills, broken glass, and other hazards that might be found in the kitchen.
Nonstick pans are risk-free to use if handled properly. But the non-stick coating can easily chip or flake if you use metal utensils. As a result, your food may become contaminated with PFAs, which are known to be harmful. Use plastic or wooden spoons instead.
It’s important to keep pot and pan handles facing the middle of the stovetop as you cook. You can’t accidentally knock them over and send scalding water flying that way. Have a dry pair of oven mitts or potholders handy at all times when handling hot dishes directly off the stove or oven. The heat is transferred more efficiently via wet or moist surfaces.
As condensation forms on the lid of a covered pot when the contents are simmering, it is best to lift the lid at an angle in order to prevent oil spills.
It’s the same with stirring. Be careful to avoid getting sprayed by bubbling sauces by stirring them away from your body.
Get the phone numbers for the fire station, hospital, and emergency hotline in your dining room area. You can put a sticky note with them on your fridge so you can see them easily in case something goes wrong.
A responsible homeowner will always be on the lookout. Pay attention to these five tips so you can get on with your cooking worry-free! Need more tips? Mr. Cabinet Care’s safety guidelines summarize these tips here.