Most of these safety tips for kitchen newbies will seem like common sense if you’re an experienced cook, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore some simple safety tips when working in the kitchen. Safety is important whether you’re cooking a meal for one, preparing a feast for friends and family, or working in a professional kitchen. Don’t play roulette with your health – keep safe and follow these simple guidelines.
1. Don’t leave a hot hob unattended
Whilst microwaves and ovens are designed to be left alone, hob points aren’t. Leaving a hot hob to itself can lead to overheating and can potentially cause a fire. Whilst the likelihood of a fire starting should be low and will require a few other things to go wrong as well, you simply shouldn’t risk leaving a hob to itself. Especially if you’ve got children around. At the very least, overheating could ruin your meal by overcooking your food. It can also make your hob much harder to clean afterwards.
2. Don’t leave children in the kitchen unattended whilst food is being cooked
This ties in with the previous point, but don’t leave your children in the kitchen when any of the cooking appliances are on. The risks should be pretty self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many people forget that kitchens can be dangerous places.
3. Make sure your smoke alarm is working
In case your oven has a fault and starts a fire while you’re waiting in another room, you’ll want to know about it as soon as possible. Make sure you’ve got a smoke alarm and that you test it regularly. Some alarms alert you if there’s a carbon monoxide leak as well, which is especially useful if one of your appliances has got a fault you don’t know about.
Fires can start in the kitchen for any number of reasons. Although you shouldn’t be leaving the hob unattended, faulty ovens, toasters, or even fridges can cause problems. Don’t think that just because your fridge is cold that it isn’t a fire risk. Make sure your appliances are fully serviced and kept in order. And report any faults even if they don’t seem serious.
4. Prepare different types of food in separate areas
Cross-contamination can happen really easily in your kitchen, especially if you’re preparing veggies such as mushrooms on the same surface of fruits (that aren’t going to be cooked). Get a color coded selection of boards and only use specific ones to chop certain types of food. Make sure you wash your hands after you’ve touched raw food and don’t use the same knives without washing them. Ensure that your kitchen is designed in a way where you can safely prepare foods in separate areas. For more on modern kitchen designs, turn to Kitchencove.
5. Take care when cutting
You’ve probably already cut yourself a few times in the kitchen, it’s commonplace but easily preventable. Don’t let your fingers protrude under any veg that you’re cutting. You might think you’ve got control of your knife, but slips can happen easily.
One great tactic to use when cutting is to close your fingers in a bunched fist and only hold the vegetable in place with your knuckles. It can be hard to hold some items in place this way, but it’ll protect the ends of your fingers which are normally the areas that are most at risk.
Paul Mellon knows how important staying safe in the kitchen can be, whether you’re at work or at home. Sometimes, accidents do happen, and that’s when he recommends No Win No Fee injury solicitors.