Safety in the kitchen makes good sense, considering the things that can wrong – scalds, fires, food poisoning, slips and spills.
Here are a 10 tips to keep you safe in the kitchen.
1. Place childproof locks on cabinets and drawers that house medicines, sharp utensils and cleaning products. A lock on the oven makes sense too, especially for younger children.
2. Turn pot handles in, so pots aren’t accidently pulled down by curious children or accidently knocked as people walk by. Also, don’t leave food cooking on the stove unattended and make sure to turn off burners as soon as you take the pot off.
3. To prevent food spoilage, only defrost foods in the fridge. Meat, fish and poultry can spoil quickly, so refrigerate or freeze them right away.
4. Separate raw meat and poultry from other foods in the fridge. Place on lower shelves to prevent any meat juices from dripping onto other perishable items – this precaution helps prevent cross contamination of harmful bacteria from one food to another.
5. To help prevent cross contamination (transferring harmful bacteria from one food to another) – don’t scramble an egg with a fork, then use it to eat the scrambled eggs. Don’t mix raw meat with a wooden spoon, then use the same unwashed wooden spoon to mix a cake icing with. Keep separate chopping boards for meat, fish, poultry and vegetables. The message here is to not use dirty utensils for multiple jobs!
6. Wash your hands before handling food and after especially after handling meat or poultry.
7. Wipe up any spills immediately – keep the floor dry so that no one slips and falls. Oils spills can be particularly hard to clean, so after cleaning with paper towel, use lots of hot soapy water to clean the residue away.
8. Dirty sponges can harbour disease causing bacteria. Therefore, replace sponges often or wash them regularly. Microwaving wet sponges for a minute sterilises them.
9. Steam can burn just as badly as boiling liquid – be especially careful with foods that have been cooked in the microwave and boiling foods, like pasta and rice, which need draining.
10. Always use sharp knives, as blunt knives can lead to injuries. If a knife falls, don’t try to catch it - step back and let it fall. Never cut things in your hand – always use a chopping board.