7 kitchen safety tips
Cooking up a homemade meal or dessert is fun, but it is important to keep safety a priority. Whether you are cooking with children or by yourself, keep these safety tips in mind.
1. Wash your hands
It may seem like common sense, but make sure everyone who is cooking thoroughly washes their hands with soap and warm water before handling any food. It’s also important to re-wash your hands after handling raw meat or poultry.
2. Have a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 172,900 home structure fires per year started by cooking activities in 2014-2018 according to the National Fire Protection Association. It can only take a few moments for a fire to get out of control. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher handy when cooking, and know how to use it.
3. Wear proper clothing
Loose clothing, dangling jewelry, and long hair pose a risk of accidentally catching fire when cooking. Push your sleeves up, remove long jewelry, and tie your hair back before starting to cook.
4. Prevent burns
Have oven mitts and potholders nearby to use when handling anything in the oven or on the stove. It’s also important to turn the handles of pots and pans inward when cooking. If they are hanging over the edge, there’s a good chance you or someone else in the kitchen could knock it over and spill hot food or water.
5. Give kids age-appropriate tasks
Kids love helping out in the kitchen, but there are many ways children can hurt themselves while cooking. Give them age-appropriate tasks to help out so they stay safe. Safe tasks include:
- Measuring ingredients
- Pouring cool liquids
- Stirring or sifting ingredients in a bowl
- Washing fruits and vegetables
6. Wipe up spills right away
It can be easy to accidently spill on the floor when cooking and baking. To help prevent slips and falls, wipe up the mess immediately.
7. Practice knife safety
Be careful when using kitchen knives. A dull knife is more likely to cut you than a sharp knife, so keep your knives sharpened. It’s also important to choose the appropriate sized knife for the task. Store knives properly, in a wooden knife block or drawer, and out of the reach of children.
Next time you are preparing dinner or baking a delicious dessert, stop to remember these safety tips.