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Kitchen Safety Tips

A List of Vital Kitchen Safety Tips Every Homemaker Should Know

The kitchen may be your domain, but ensuring that it is safe for anyone to enter becomes your responsibility. Take kitchen safety very seriously, because a slight oversight could result in an unfortunate accident. Go through the safety tips in this article to ensure you've taken care of everything.
Sujata Iyer
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
A kitchen, if you look at it, has the potential for an accident of almost every kind. You could burn yourself and the whole house down, you could cut yourself, you could flood the place, you could get electrocuted, you could even end up breaking a bone or two. All this can be avoided by using and following some simple safety tips. The ones given in this HomeQuicks article are very simple and matter of fact. So you shouldn't have any trouble with them.
Basic Tips for Safety in the Kitchen
Given below is a list of some of the most basic, yet most commonly overlooked tips for safety in the kitchen. You can simply print it out and have it hung in your kitchen, to make it a constant reminder for everyone who enters it.
Electricity
The first and foremost, and most dangerous items in your kitchen are your electrical appliances. You need to take proper care that no one has a freak electrical accident in the middle of your kitchen. For that, follow the tips given below.
  • Do not place any electrical appliances close to the kitchen sink. They may be water-resistant, but why take the chance of drops of water splashing on to an appliance that is on.
  • Make sure that the wires of all your appliances are covered well with insulation. If you notice frayed chords, get them changed immediately.
  • Turn off the switches and unplug all the appliances after you are done using them. A switch left on not only consumes electricity, but is also an electrocution waiting to happen.
  • Get appliances that have a 3 prong plug. They are much safer than the 2 prong ones.
  • Make sure heavy appliances are earthed properly.
  • Do not use sharp objects inside an electrical appliance. For instance, do not ever use a fork to take out a slice from the toaster.
  • Do not touch appliances and switches with wet hands. Always keep a towel handy to wipe your hands as frequently as required.
  • Get your appliances checked and serviced as and when required. It will give them a longer life and also ensure their safe handling.
Cooking
Next comes cooking. Even during cooking, you may fall prey to some terrible accidents, just because you did something really silly like wearing torn mitts to remove a hot tray from the oven. Let us see some simple things that you can do to have a safe cooking environment.
  • Cook slowly. There's no rush at all. They didn't coin the phrase 'haste makes waste' for no reason. A simple thing like making an omelet can result in disaster if you overheat the egg or add too much oil to the pan in a hurry.
  • When you take a lid off a hot vessel, make sure that you lift it away from the body. The lid is likely to be hot and you don't want to scald yourself.
  • Also, while lifting a lid, don't take your face very close to the food that is cooking. There is bound to be a lot of steam coming out of the hot vessel, which can scald as badly as hot food itself.
  • The handles of pots and pans should face away from the body of the person cooking. This will prevent accidental contact with the handle, which could result in a serious scalding.
  • While cooking, give it your full attention. Don't be distracted and never, for any reason, leave food that is on the stove unattended.
  • Cook the food thoroughly. Uncooked food can lead to serious health problems.
  • Use dry tongs and mitts to lift hot pots and pans. Water conducts heat very quickly, so you do the math.
  • Keep your face away while adding ingredients into hot oil. Keep the flame of the stove low while adding anything into hot oil.
Utensils and Sharp Objects
The next thing that you need to take good care of is the type of utensils you use, how you use them, and how you can ensure that they are safe for use. Just follow the simple tips mentioned below.
  • Keep all sharp objects like knives, scissors, can openers, scrapers, etc., away from where children can reach them.
  • If you happen to break a glass object, immediately sweep up all the pieces and shards and throw them away.
  • Use a good and strong cutting board to cut vegetables and meats. Place a piece of cloth under it so that it doesn't keep moving around.
  • Make sure the knives that you use are sharp. A blunt knife, when too much pressure is applied, can slip and fall and cause serious injuries. Also, learn the proper method of using the knife so that you are confident about it.
  • Place utensils within your reach. If you cannot reach them easily, use a foot stool to do it. Avoid standing on your tiptoes and stretching across to take out something from a cabinet. You may slip and fall.
Miscellaneous
Now, let us take a look at some very generic safety tips that everyone who runs a kitchen should follow.
  • Never let kids enter a kitchen alone, if something's cooking.
  • Don't let pets enter the kitchen under any circumstances. They shed and it could be a potential health hazard.
  • Always keep a small fire extinguisher handy, but keep it away from any source of heat. Also, learn and teach everyone at home how to use it in case of emergency.
  • Keep sharp objects, instruments, and vessels away from the reach of children.
  • Place the cleaning products away from the cooking products.
  • Don't use the same utensil for raw and cooked food. Always wash the utensil and then use it.
  • Wash your hands before and after cooking and especially before and after handling raw meat.
  • Keep emergency numbers close at hand. For instance, paste them on the walls or use them as refrigerator magnets.
  • While cooking, always tie up your hair and roll up your sleeves. Better yet, wear short sleeves while cooking, so as to avoid accidental burning of the hair and fabric.
  • If you happen to spill something on the floor, clean it up immediately. Wet floors are a slipping hazard for everyone.
  • Keep the counter clean and dry at all times. You may have to plug in an electrical appliance anytime, and a wet counter can cause electrocution.
  • If you have to lift a vessel that is extremely heavy, don't do it alone. You could seriously injure yourself, not to mention waste a lot of food. So, ask for help even if you have the slightest doubt about lifting a heavy vessel.
  • Make sure that there is enough space to walk around the kitchen. Don't allow toys or any other objects that do not belong in the kitchen, inside it. Keep the aisles clear, and close all cabinets to avoid bumping into them.
  • Childproof all cabinets that children can reach easily. These include not only eating supplies, but also cleaning supplies and even the refrigerator.
  • Regularly check your smoke alarm and get it serviced when required.
  • Don't leave food uncovered. Germs, insects, etc., can lead to many serious diseases.
  • In the refrigerator, always cover the food. This will prevent the intermingling of juices and scents.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from where children can reach them.
  • Keep raw meats and cooked meats far away from each other, in the refrigerator and outside, to prevent cross contamination.
  • Keep your kitchen clean and dry at all times. Dirty and wet kitchens are a breeding ground for diseases.
Didn't we say they were easy steps to follow? Keep these simple and practical kitchen safety tips in mind and educate everyone around you about them as well. Keep your kitchen safe whether you're using it or not, for yourself and for the ones around you.
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