Kitchen Safety 101: How to Prevent Cuts, Burns, and Other Injuries - Deepstash
Kitchen Safety 101: How to Prevent Cuts, Burns, and Other Injuries

Kitchen Safety 101: How to Prevent Cuts, Burns, and Other Injuries

Curated from: seriouseats.com

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Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident

Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident

Preparation and focus is everything. It’s better to be alert and avoid injury than worry about how or when to rush to the emergency room.

  • Regularly inspect your kitchen appliances to ensure all is in working order.
  • Before you start to cook, ensure your work area is clean and dry.
  • Clean and dry floors will ensure you don’t slip.
  • Make sure your stovetop is clean and clear before using it.
  • Ensure your oven is empty and clean before you turn it on.

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Pets, Kids, and Clothing

Pets, Kids, and Clothing

  • Pets and kids: Pay close attention to little visitors, especially when handling anything sharp or hot. You also don't want to trip over pets hovering underfoot.
  • Clothing: There’s a reason restaurant cooks and chefs have a uniform: Long pants and long sleeves and slip-resistant shoes serve as protection. Loose, drapey clothing, long necklaces, and loose hair will make cooking more difficult as they can get caught on something or fall into the food.

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Don’t Start Fires

Don’t Start Fires

  • Don't let flammable things sit near an open flame or heat source, such as fat or cooking oil, paper or packaging, or aerosol spray cans.
  • Don’t leave food on the stove or in the oven unattended—set timers to help you remember when to check on the food.
  • Know where your fire suppressant materials, such as baking soda, are. Ensure your fire extinguisher is in working order.

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Avoid Cutting Yourself

Avoid Cutting Yourself

Learning the best way to handle knives is the easiest way to avoid cutting yourself.

  • Learn basic knife skills.
  • Never cut toward yourself.
  • Ensure you are using the appropriate knife for each job.
  • Wash knives with blades facing away from you.
  • Knives should be kept clean and dry in storage, with the blades protected, not loose within a drawer.
  • Don’t walk with knives pointing out—hold it at your side, pointing down.
  • Don’t leave a knife dangling over the edge.
  • Never leave a knife in the sink with other dishes. It is bad for the blade and increases your chance of an injury.

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Don't Cut Corners With Mandolines

Don't Cut Corners With Mandolines

Mandolines are slicing tools designed for speed and accuracy. They’re also exceptionally adept at cutting off fingertips.

Use the handguard or wear a metal mesh glove when using a mandoline. Get comfortable leaving that last nub of carrot, fennel, or union unsliced—you can always save it for stock.

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How to Avoid Burning Yourself

How to Avoid Burning Yourself

The stovetop

  • Never leave a burner on high heat unattended.
  • Never walk away from oil or sugar as it's heating.
  • If you’re making something that needs to cook for a long time at a low temperature, set a timer so you remember to check it often.
  • Don’t leave the gas on for longer than 10 seconds if it’s not lighting. Turn it off briefly to allow it to disperse before trying again.

Pots and pans

  • Always keep a potholder handy.
  • Open lids away from you, and watch out for steam when doing so.
  • Always use a folded up kitchen towel or pot holder when grabbing something hot.

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Avoid Burning Yourself While Cooking or Baking

Avoid Burning Yourself While Cooking or Baking

While cooking

Don’t drop your food into the oil from as far away as possible. Instead, lower food into hot oil as close to the oil's surface as possible and away from you. Keep in mind that the oil level will rise when you add ingredients. Oil can quickly catch on fire if it overflows out of your pan.

While baking, roasting or using the broiler

  • Position your oven shelves prior to heating the oven.
  • Watch your wrists and forearms when reaching into and out of the oven.
  • When baking pies or cakes, bake them over a lined sheet tray to avoid letting anything drip onto the bottom of your oven.

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