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How to Cook Up Safety in the Kitchen

8/31/2017 10:54 PM Comments Posted By Floralyn Teodoro
The kitchen is most often the favorite part of the home because it’s where most families gather to share warm meals and bond. However, the kitchen also poses potential hazards you need to avoid.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), cooking fires caused by unattended cooking are the number one cause of home fires and injuries. But, aside from fire incidents, the kitchen can also pose other hazards like food contamination form bacteria, injuries from sharp tools and objects, food spoilage, and more.

With that, below are tips to cook up safety in the kitchen and prevent serious accidents or injuries.

Food safety

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, 1 in every 6 Americans get sick from eating contaminated food.

To ensure the cleanliness and safety of the food you’re serving your loved ones and prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses in your kitchen, you must observe safe steps in handling, preparing, cooking, and storing food. Here are tips:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling food, especially after handling meat or poultry. Unclean hands can transfer bacteria.
  • When storing food in the refrigerator, make sure to separate raw meat and poultry from other food items to prevent cross-contamination of bacteria.
  • Use separate cutting boards for different food items like meat, fish, poultry, and produce. By doing such, cross-contaminate of bacteria can be prevented.
  • Never reuse utensils that came into contact with raw proteins like raw meats or eggs. Clean and wash them with warm soapy water before reusing.
  • Always check the expiration, sell-by, or use-by dates on your packaged food items. Toss immediately those that are already expired and unsafe for eating.
  • Place cooked leftovers in airtight containers and label them with their cooking date before storing them in the fridge. If the food is still warm, cool it first.
  • Store and refrigerate temperature-sensitive food items like raw meats, dairy products, and fish immediately. They can spoil when left to sit out in the kitchen.

Fire safety

Most often, the number of reported kitchen fires significantly increase during holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Christmas Eve.

Don’t add your home to the alarming statistics of cooking-related house fires being reported each year. For a fire-free kitchen all year round, here are safety tips you must observe every time you’re in your kitchen to prepare and cook meals:

  • Always keep your hair tied back and never wear loose clothing while cooking. Long hair, dangling jewelry, and loose clothes can accidentally catch fire.
  • Likewise, keep away anything that can catch fire away from an open fire or your stovetop. These items include towels, curtains, mitts, and food packaging.
  • Never leave a cooking pot or open fire unattended. Always keep an eye on what you’re cooking. Keep your gadgets or any distraction away as well.
  • Always turn pot handles out of the way. By doing this, you can prevent yourself from bumping into them, and your children from grabbing them.
  • Never plug in or use electrical appliances that have been wet. Besides causing them grave damage, they can also cause short circuits, or worse, fires.
  • If you’re sleepy or under the influence of alcohol, don’t use the stove. Attempting to cook while you’re not 100% alert can lead to accidents and injuries.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher within your reach while cooking. More so, make sure to know how to properly use the fire extinguisher in case of a fire.

Don’t taint the good memories you have with your family while in your kitchen. Make sure top always practice the above kitchen safety tips. As they say, “safety is gainful, accident is painful.

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