You don’t need to know the whole alphabet of Safety. The A, B, C of it will save you if you follow it: Always Be Careful.” – Colorado School of Mines Magazine
As said a watched pot never boils. We generally overlook the kitchen hazards, but it is the most vulnerable place which is prone to risk. Especially when their children at home. We bake, Fry, boil in the kitchen, overlooking all the consequences that can happen to cause an accident. These are all unintentional risks that may harm your family safe because most of the mothers prefer keeping their children with themselves even while cooking. Prominently if the kids are small we can get electric shocks, hand-sliced and even bacterial infection. We definitely cannot predict the accidents that can happen due to some carelessness, but we can understand the cause of those accidents and prevent hazards. Here are some of the safe and unsafe practices that can be followed in your cookhouse, as measures of safety.
What if, you accidentally cut off your finger from a very sharp knife? Most of us have faced this situation in our life. To acquire knife safety, it is important to understand how to store these knives and prevent injuries. First of all, don’t be careless and Use the knife with caution. Don’t get distracted from other sources while chopping. When you chop round objects, make them flat on the sides so that they don’t slip out of your hand. Keep knife is at a place, that is away from your children’s reach, either at the corner end of the cooktop or upper cabinet.
Use appropriate cooking tools
You cannot use a plate to boil water, similarly, there is a need to use appropriate cooking tools while cooking. First of all use large handles and tongs to hold hot items, don’t grasp them immediately this will cause flickering of hot water or oil. Make sure that you grab them properly and don’t slip on the floor. Avoids use of graters, zesters and mandolins as all of these can slice your fingers if gone out of sight.
Safety while handling hot dishes
Touching something hot, response drastically to your stimuli. First of all, make sure that you switch off the gas while dealing with hot dishes. The lids of hot dishes are quite hot hence removing them with care. Make sure that the handles are not forming a part of your way. During boiling water, don’t fill your pan to the brim and keep it at an average level to avoid burns. Use oven-safe mitts while removing hot dishes. Lastly don’t bang into your children with hot food.
You must know how to handle kitchen fires
This generally happens, when you are on a high flame. Use baking soda to lower down the flames, don’t use water, it can cause severe burns. While using the oven, microwave make sure that the doors are shut and appliances are turned off after use. Always have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen as a safety mechanism. Finally, avoid wearing loose clothes in the kitchen that can easily catch fire. Apart from this while selecting the clothes you wear, do not select the ones that can get easily caught up in the fire. There are generally around 164,500 residential cooking fires in the US every year; the situation is approximately the same in India also.
Kids in the kitchen
When your kids are helping you in the kitchen, make sure that devices like a food processor, blender or away from them. Sharp and dangerous blades of these machines can crop of fingers easily. Keep your children away from the hotspot. Don’t let them use a knife even if they use, continuously guide them. Monitor your kids all the time and inform them about what’s okay and what’s not. Keep them away from oils.
Slip and trip
Often falling off in the kitchen is one of the major hazards that can cause a threat to life. Whenever there is flour contamination including spillage of water, oil or flour. Make sure that you clean them as fast as possible because these ingredients make the floor slippery. After having a wet floor, move out of the room for some time. Avoid having unnecessary cabinets, boxes, bins and equipment’s that come in your way. Use a ladder to reach the high pantry shelves instead of climbing on cabinets. Take extra care while cleaning and wear shoes that don’t slip.
Not storing food properly can make food and safe to use. Keep in mind that when you have large pantry items, there should be enough space in your kitchen to store them. Customise your space with cabinets and shelves; keep everything labelled and infection-free. Store heavy items at waist level or below. Keep the cold storage food safe in the fridge so that it does not catch bacterial contamination. Sort out the food as per best before and use by dates; keep them in temperature as prescribed. If you have any allergy, keep those allergic items away from your reach.
Fire and electrical boards
There are various electrical equipment’s in the kitchen along with naked fire. Fire and electricity together cause an imminent threat to life. All you need to do is keep a check on the sources of fuel and ignition, remove paper material, cardboard boxes and wooden equipment’s away from the ignition points. Check on the cables and plugs, for any burns. If there are any damages call for an electrician. Avoid dents, cracks, fraying or exposed wires. Do not use chemicals in the kitchen including hand sanitizer, floor washing ingredients and acids. Most of these are flammable material. Do not overload a socket, which will lead to short-circuit. Keep away water from all the switchboard and plugs. Apart from this, you can also cover your switchboard so that your children are out of reach. Turn off all the electric devices when leaving the kitchen.
As per a study, it was found that 12 million residents of California are generally exposed to indoor nitrogen dioxide levels that surpass state and national air quality standards for carbon monoxide. This was estimated by a study conducted by a Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory. Hence keep a check on your hood, and turn off the fans when not in use. This will help in reducing the toxins level in the house.
Use nonstick cookware
Use nonstick cookware because it avoids burning and does not release dangerous fumes into the environment. They are even easy to wash and use. In today’s generation, most of the people prefer using nonstick cookware instead of the old traditional ones. Using toxic pans can mix toxic components in your food.
Wash your hands
Always wash your hands, not just in this pandemic time. It is important to clean your hands before and after cooking with hot soapy water. You can use paper towels to dry your hands because if you are right-hand touches the meat or any juices, it can also lead to food poisoning. Make sure that all your surface area is clean, leading no infection.
Don’t keep a hot glass dish on a wet surface
Might have generally seen, when you keep something on a wet surface, it slips down automatically. To avoid this situation make sure that your shelf is dry. The best place to keep a hot glass dish is maybe a chopping board, or a bottle holder or even a towel.
Use different Chopping boards
It is preferred to use different chopping boards for raw meat, vegetables and fruits. If you use the same chopping board, there are chances of your family to get salmonella poisoning. Hence keep in mind that have a separate chopping board for meat, seafood and poultry and another chopping board for fruits and vegetables. Washing vegetables and fruits first before cutting with soap and hot salted water.
So, here is a list of some do’s and don’ts to follow in the kitchen regularly. All you need to do is take precautions and even caution, to keep yourself and your family safe. Apart from this other tips can be storing nights in a wooden box or a drawer, avoid keeping temperature-sensitive food out in the cookhouse. Use proper equipment including a potholder and tongs. Always remember to keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen that can help you in dire need during a fire.
Avoid cross-contamination of food. Do not use plastic bags in your kitchen, because plastic is a major source of cancer. Cook your food on prescribed temperature. As per the US Department of Agriculture, the perfect temperature for egg, pork and hamburgers is 160°. The perfect temperature for poultry is 165° and the perfect temperature for a lamb and the roast is 145°. Make sure that you transport hot pans and pots carefully. Manage your safety while using a pressure cooker; open the lid only when the cooker becomes cold. Clean your utensils well, wash your towels, dispose of your sponge regularly and don’t forget to clean the sink. Doing all this will prevent illness and accidents in your kitchen.
If you have any doubts or queries related to kitchen or using a kitchen safely, we at Ozo kitchen are available to help you. All you need to do is feel free to contact www.ozokitchen.com. We will be happy to answer your queries and bring out the most practical solution. The website provides you with information on how to use, maintain a modular kitchen.