Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kitchen Safety Tips

My grandfather used to say you had to sharpen your kitchen knives often. You were more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife slipping about on the food than a sharp one that went where you wanted it. He probably had something there.

About 18% of home accidents are in the kitchen. 14% of kitchen accidents are from trying out new recipes. Apparently we are taken with how the TV chefs slice and dice stuff, and we soon find out we are not TV chefs! Unfortunately, some of us find that out with blood involved.

How can you keep safer in the kitchen? Of course the obvious stuff about looking for frayed electrical cords and keeping said cords away from water and putting in GCFI outlets you are already doing.

Same with not leaving pan unattended on the stove or adding water to a bunch of oil in a skillet or never forgetting to turn off the stove after cooking. You’re doing all that. So what else?

1) When I place tableware and cooking utensils in the sink for washing, I always put them in the same way. That way I am less likely to get stabbed by a tine. I keep the knives on the counter and clean them separately. I put all utensils at the front of the sink pointy ends to the left.

2) If you get a bad burn, cut a cold tomato in half and cover the burn. It helps! Or hold it under cool running water. Do not put on ice, butter, or Vaseline.

3) Immediately after dropping something on the floor or spilling something, wipe/pick it up. If you decide to get it later, you may be down on the floor before you can get to it.

4) Use a sturdy stepladder to reach things up high. Do not stand on boxes, chairs, or counters.

5) Minimize the chances of catching fire: tie back your hair, avoid loose/flowing tops, rollup your sleeves, and tuck in loose clothing. You also are less likely to get food stains with this tip. And you never lean across a burner, do you?

6) Keep knives and other pointy things in a knife caddy or put a cork over the sharp end if keeping in a drawer.

7) Turn pot handles in so they aren’t accidentally bumped or grabbed by a curious child.

8) Make sure your fire extinguisher is easily accessible in the kitchen and fully charged. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, baking soda or salt might help with the fire. Keep a lid nearby to smother flames.

9) Always use a cutting board instead of slicing those bagels or cutting apples in your hands. It’s too easy to slip.

10) Don’t dig your toast or bagel out of the toaster with a metal fork. Duh!

11) Don’t touch the blades of an electrical appliance while it is plugged in. Even if the appliance is off, it is too easy for it to be turned on.

12) It is better to keep kids and pets out of the kitchen while you are cooking so you don’t trip over them or spill something on them.

13) Don’t cook barefoot or in sandals. People have dropped knives on their feet or caught a frozen package from a badly organized freezer.

14) Keep a first aid kit in the kitchen so you don’t have to trail blood through the house looking for a band-aid.

15) Never use a wet potholder. It conducts the heat rather than insulating.

Please stay safe in the kitchen and make sure others do as well. This is a happy place. It shouldn’t be the cause of so much misery. Hsppy and safe cooking until we meet again.

Here are some resources I used:

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