Many accidents in the home happen in the kitchen so it’s essential you work safely and efficiently at all times. There are too many ways to cause an injury to yourself or others and quite simply, accidents happen. Here are the kitchen safety tips every domestic goddess should know:
Sharp utensils on your slab can cut small inquisitive hands when your back is turned. Parents trying to prepare dinner in a rush can fall over dogs or cats headed for their water bowl. Only allow kids into the kitchen while you’re preparing food if you're teaching them how to cook. Ban pets from the kitchen while you're preparing meals.
Rushing around in the kitchen is a recipe for accidents to happen. Always leave sufficient time for food preparation. Don't try to remove hot pans from the oven or stove when you're in a hurry or you might burn yourself. Take time chopping vegetables or meat. Don't rush the job or you might cut off more than you'd bargained for.
Kitchen gadgets are great labor and time-saving devices, but only when you know how to use them correctly. Read the instructions before turning on appliances! The manual should tell you what precautions you need to take, and if it doesn't, apply common sense. Take the plug out of the electrical socket before sticking a fork into your toaster to fish for a stuck piece of bread.
Knowing which tool is right for the job is half the battle. Kitchen knives come in many different shapes and sizes, each designed to handle a particular task involving either cutting, chopping or "sawing". A blunt knife has a tendency to slip and cut you instead of the intended food stuff. Regularly sharpen knives and learn how to wield kitchen knives like a professional by taking cookery classes (or you could watch You Tube tutorials). Use your dominant hand to hold the knife and your non-dominant hand to hold the food.
Shoes and slip-ons cover our feet and can protect us from injury when we drop a knife or sharp kitchen utensil by mistake, a frequent occurrence in kitchens. Long, wide sleeves or voluminous ankle-length skirts can easily get caught on oven doors and - if the fabric is synthetic- can easily catch fire. Refrain from wearing synthetic clothes when working in the kitchen; you might consider wearing an old-fashioned cotton apron, which affords some protection against spills from hot liquid and oils.
Always wear oven gloves or hot pads when removing hot pans and dishes from cookers, especially when handling dishes that come out of a microwave. Bowls and utensils suitable for microwave use can become very hot indeed; far too hot to handle without protective oven mitts or hot pads, which really protect you from burns.
Pots full of contents suddenly weigh far more than expected. Take great care lifting baking trays, hot pots, pans and heated boiling vessels. Ask somebody stronger than yourself to help you if you have difficulty with the weight of dishes or use two smaller vessels for your Sunday roast, soup/casserole/paella instead of one.
Always stir away from your body when you stand at the stove. Stir in the opposite direction to avoid being splashed by boiling liquids or hot oil.
Boiling liquid on a stove or handling steamed foods without proper care can cause serious burns. Always open the lid facing away from you.
Don't rush when cleaning up spills on your floor, as you might slip and fall. Always check the whole kitchen area, not just what's immediately in front of you. Splashes just a couple of meters further along can still trip you up and lay you low. Clean spills efficiently and with care until all residues have been removed.
Mostly it’s common sense but it’s so easy to forget. Did your mom teach you these basic tips when she was teaching you how to cook?
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