Cooking is enjoyable, but kitchen safety is paramount. Many pieces of equipment, as well as environmental hazards, can be especially unsafe for kitchen and food preparation areas. It is a decent habit to develop to follow basic kitchen safety rules.
11 Basic Kitchen Safety Rules
To avoid serious injuries or accidents, pay close attention to what you are doing. Create a kitchen cleaning plan, have the necessary safety equipment on hand, and do the following to ensure your and your family’s safety.
1. Gas Certificates
First and one of the most important safety rules for your kitchen is to get the gas safe certification. These certificates certify that all fuel equipment in your house is safe to use and in proper working order. This is critical because faulty gas appliances can be extremely dangerous.
For instance, if your boiler does not work appropriately, toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide could leak into your home. This has the potential to cause illness and, in the worst situation, death. Gas leaks are extremely dangerous, as they can cause fires or explosions.
Call your emergency service provider right away if you smell gas. The gas safety engineer will perform a visual inspection of pipework as well as a tightness test to ensure there are no leaks during your gas safety check.
2. Remember to Wash Your Hands
You think this is self-evident, but many people overlook this step. We touch so many things in the kitchen, from food to fridge handles, towels to can openers, as it is a very quick way for hands to spread germs all over the place.
So, to keep your kitchen clean, you must keep your hands clean as well. Before and after cooking, make sure you wash your hands with soap and hot water.
Dry your hand properly because the chances of bacteria spreading are more through wet hands. Dish napkins may contain raw meat/juice stains from cleaning dishes, and using them to dry your hands can cause food poisoning.
3. Keep Worktops Clean
It is important to clean your worktops because they come into contact with the food you are going to eat. Bacteria could spread to food if they are not properly cleaned, making you sick.
Any spilled food should be cleaned up right away. After handling food, livestock, vegetables, or egg products, always wash worktops thoroughly. Also, never put washed and ready-to-eat salad, flour, or cleaned fruit on a worktop or chopping board that has been touched by meat or other fresh foods unless it has been thoroughly washed first. Dishcloths and paper napkins should be changed regularly to prevent microorganisms from multiplying on them.
4. Avoid Using the Same Cutting Board
Raw meat, fish, and vegetables may contain pathogens that can easily spread through knives and other foods tabletops chopping boards. We all like to avoid doing extra dishes; however, this is one area where cutting corners is not a good idea.
It is a guaranteed way to just get salmonella if you use the same work surface for meats, foods, fruits, and vegetables. According to the USDA, you should use two cutting boards to prevent cross-contamination; one for raw meat, chicken, and fresh fish, and another for fresh fruits and vegetables and bread.
If you must use the same cutting board, chop your fruits and vegetables first, then thoroughly wash down your cutting board with soap and hot water before preparing your meats.
5. Spills Should Be Cleaned Up Right Away
When you are multitasking, it is easy to spill something into the kitchen. The quickest way to get harmed in the kitchen or for someone else to slip as they enter your kitchen is to slide on anything spilled.
To improve kitchen safety, clean up any spilled water, grease, or oil as soon as possible before anyone trips and gets hurt. Furthermore, uncleanly spilled food in the oven imparts an unpleasant taste of smoke and charcoal to your food, which is unsanitary and can cause illness.
6. Verify to See If Your Fire Alarm is Functional
To ensure your family’s safety, smoke detectors and fire alarms may be among the most crucial items in your home. These warning devices can help notify your family of a flame or toxic smoke while there is still time to escape, but they must be tested regularly to maintain good operation.
Statistics show that homes without fire and smoke alarms are more vulnerable to fire accidents. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your kitchen has a functional smoke alarm. Moreover, check the batteries of your alarm at least once a month and make sure that the alarm is working fine.
7. Learn To Use a Knife
Another safety rule for your kitchen is to ensure that you know how to correctly slice and chop food with knives to avoid injuring yourself. The knives should always be picked up by the handle.
Even if the blade is sharp, never touch it. Food should be chopped on a level surface, such as a cutting board, to keep it from moving about. Knives should be stored safely, out of the way of kitchen traffic and out of reach of little children.
8. How to Cook with Oils Safely
When cooking meat and vegetables, oil is commonly used. To avoid harm, slowly heat oils to prevent them from spilling out and causing minor burns.
Because mishandling cooking oil can result in severe burns and other injuries, it is critical that anybody handling cooking oil observe these safety precautions at all times. Wait until your pots and pans have cooled before attempting to wash and clean them down.
It can be rather hot even after it has cooled down, so proceed with caution and avoid direct interaction. Wait until your pots and pans have cooled before attempting to wash and clean them down.
9. Keep an Eye On the Kids
Having a child join you in the kitchen while you are preparing dinner might be entertaining, but it is equally dangerous. Be mindful of the following guidelines to ensure the safety of your kids:
- Burns and scalds, as well as poisoning and ingesting incidents, are more common in younger children. The majority of scalds are caused by hot liquids, so keep your kids away from them.
- The skin of a child is far more sensitive than that of an adult, and a hot drink can still burn a youngster 15 minutes after it is made.
- Allowing young toddlers to use knives, a blender, and the stove is not a good idea.
10. Surfaces Should Be Sanitized
Before and after each use, wash all of your counters and surfaces with hot water and soap. If you are chopping up meat, chicken, fish, or eggs, then use a mild bleach and water solution to sanitize the surfaces completely.
Using an antimicrobial solution to clean your kitchen items with hot water is a good idea to deep clean your food areas. To keep germs away, keep your tools in a regularly cleaned plastic or metal box. Germs and bacteria can start to develop if you do not clean your kitchen properly and quickly.
This is not ideal at a place where you prepare and serve food because it can make people sick that come to your establishment. To avoid this, make sure you clean and sterilize your kitchen items properly after each use.
Remember to dry kitchen utensils after cleaning and sanitizing them with dishcloths that have been cleansed with a good detergent.
11. Do Not Forget to Include the Sink
When it comes to food-borne diseases, the kitchen sink can be a deadly area. Bacteria can be transferred to this surface by rinsing chicken breasts, scraping filthy dishes, and doing other duties.
You can contaminate “clean” foods and surfaces by rinsing veggies, washing dishes, or draining noodles with dirty sink water. To kill hazardous microorganisms, use a cleanser containing bleach regularly.
Do You Know How to Put a Fire Out?
When a fire breaks out in the kitchen, you must act quickly to prevent it from spreading. However, how you react is determined by the type of fire you have and its location. Never put out grease fires with water as grease resists water, which can spread the fire by splashing it. Instead, try one of the following options:
- Conceal the pan with a lid and turn off the burner if the fire is small.
- Sprinkle it with a lot of baking soda or salt. Never use flour because it can cause the fire to explode or worsen.
- Use a wet towel or other large wet cloth to smother the fire.
- If the fire continuously spreads and you cannot control it, then call the fire brigade.
These fundamental kitchen safety rules will help protect you and your loved ones from mishaps in the kitchen and food preparation areas. For a healthy lifestyle, keep the worktops clean, put the garbage out, and follow the safety rules mentioned above.