This article first appeared on our sister site – Food Safety Superhero
Did you know your kitchen is one of the most dangerous spots in your house? Most visits to the emergency department are due to accidents stemming from household kitchens. If you think about it, you probably have more lethal weapons in your kitchen than in the gun section at Walmart. Today, I’m going to share with you 6 kitchen safety tips that are typically forgotten when people discuss kitchen safety.
Sure you hear the typical, don’t wear dangly or loose clothes. Watch your fingers when you use a knife. What to do to prevent burns. Wash hands after touching raw meat, etc…While all of these are very important, there seem to be 6 kitchen safety tips people forget to mention.
Don’t underestimate the power of a serrated butter knife:
Many years ago I was prying apart frozen hashbrowns with a butter knife. The knife (which had slight serrations) slipped and severed my ring finger. It must have hit an artery because it looked like a bloody volcano was erupting from my finger. 3 stitches later, I learned my lesson. Don’t hold food in your hands while cutting – or in my case – prying food apart.
Slip sliding away – How to prevent slips in the kitchen
When you spill something on the floor – especially if it’s oil – wipe it up immediately. By letting the liquid lay on the floor with your intention of wiping it up later, you may forget, and only remember once you’re laying on your back facing the ceiling.
FIRST AID TIPS
- After slipping, evaluate your injuries. If you have a minor bruise you may want to perform immediate self-treatment.
- Apply a cold compress to minor bruising to reduce swelling.
- If the slip causes a severe injury such as but not limited to head contusion, external bleeding, protruding or broken bone, you will want to immediately contact your healthcare provider or seek medical attention at the nearest emergency department or emergency walk-in clinic to be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
Knife Safety – How not to cut your finger off
Although knife safety isn’t something people tend to forget about when dealing with kitchen safety, there are a few other ways to be safe when using or handling knives.
Walking on broken glass – It’s not just a song
Have you ever pulled out a jar of jelly from the fridge only to find a crack in the jar? Don’t you just want to kick yourself when you don’t notice it at the store?
1- If you ever find one of your glass jars chipped, cracked or broken, please throw that jar of food in the trash.
The reason you want to do this is there can be a small glass fragment in the food, which you may ingest. I would not advise returning it to the grocery store, because there could be a chance the store puts it back on the shelf. Although you’re not going to know if they do that and because you were being a tad too frugal to throw something out, your thriftiness could have injured a perfectly nice stranger.
2- If you drop a glass jar and it breaks, don’t attempt to pick it up with your hands, regardless of how big the pieces are. If the jar breaks on the kitchen floor, sweep it up with a broom, then follow up using the hose attachment of your vacuum.
If it breaks on the counter, brush the broken glass into a garbage can using a dustpan brush. For all small remnants of remaining glass fragments, do the following:
- Put on shoes. You’ll never know if a small piece of glass landed on the floor until you step on it.
- Put on thick household kitchen gloves
- Slightly moisten several pieces of paper towel and brush the remaining glass fragments into the trash can.
My oven’s been busted for over 7 years and I have no plans on fixing it
Although my stove works. That’s sort of wonky.
There are a lot of oven kitchen safety tips as well, but since I haven’t used my oven in so long, I haven’t stumbled upon some bonehead moves which could put me in harm’s way. Since my stove works I’m going to share some different kitchen safety issues when it pertains to your stovetop.
1- If you have a gas range, light your match before turning on the gas.
2- Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. The carbon monoxide a gas stove emits is impossible to detect.
3- Keep away any and all plastic utensils, foil, paper, or any other flammable items away from your gas stove.
4- Use only cookware that is suitable for gas stoves. Copper pots make for the best type of cookware, but since I’m sure you’re not gonna plunk down $2,000 for a set of 6 pans; heck, I wouldn’t. Check with your stove manufacturer for the best type of cookware. Avoid using plastic or glass on your gas stove.
THE PERILS OF POTS & PANS
- Make sure the handles of your pots and pans are tight.
- Keep pot handles turned towards the inside of the stove and out of reach not only from small children but also from you.
If you have a squirrel moment, you may become distracted, accidentally knock the pot handle, watch the pot fall on the floor, get burned with the food you’re cooking, slip, fall and bump your head on the tile floor. It’s like a snowball effect, and we’re not talking about the fluffy white snow kind of snowballs either.
A steaming facial should never happen in the kitchen
There’s nothing better than the steam to open your facial pores, but when that steam smacks you in the face from a boiling pot of water, we’re talking about some serious injuries. One that may look like you had back-to-back facial peels.
1- Always use an oven mitt when you’re touching anything hot from the stove.
2- When removing a lid from a pot full of steaming liquid, don’t just lift the cover off. When removing the cover, tilt and lift the cover towards you. Doing this will prevent giving you a third-degree facial, and instead, the steam will be released in the opposing direction.
Most of us love anything that’s fried, even though we know it’s not good for us. This one is simple. When frying anything on your stove where you’re not utilizing a cover; use a splatter guard.
Splatter guards are pretty cheap and they will save you hours of agony trying to stop the pain from the hot grease that splattered all over your arms and face.
3- When boiling any fatty food, use a large pot and fill it with just enough water to cover the food. If you add too much water during the boiling cycle the fat will mix with the water and spill over to the stovetop. The fat that’s mixed with the water can cause a fire due to the fat hitting the stove burner.
Make sure you have a kitchen-grade fire extinguisher near your stove or somewhere safe in your kitchen in case of a kitchen fire.
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If Humpty Dumpty used a step ladder he probably wouldn’t have fallen off the wall.
If you’re over 5-ft 7, let me say, I’m totally jelly of you. I’m a garden gnome standing proud at 5-ft 2.75 inches and shrinking. In another few years, I won’t be able to reach the dials on my stove.
One of the most important kitchen safety tips I can give you is to always have a step ladder handy in your kitchen. Regardless of how tall you may be, there may be someone in your household who isn’t as tall.
Hold your hand up if you’ve ever attempted to pull down a dish or glass from the top shelf of your cabinet on your tippy-toes, only to have it fall and crash on the floor or your head?
Come on, I can’t be the only one holding my hand up in shame.
Step ladders aren’t all that expensive. You can get them from any big box store or even online. Standing on the kitchen or dining room chair is just as dangerous as standing on a rolling office chair. Chairs were made to support us in a sitting position, not a standing position.
If I had used a step ladder, I probably wouldn’t have had to go to the emergency room to get 6 stitches in my head and be forced to wear a hat due to the bald spot the stitches caused.
These are the top 6 kitchen safety tips that no one really talks about. Are some of these new to you? If you know of another kitchen safety tip that’s not talked about very often please share in a comment below.