Basic Kitchen Safety Rules

While preparing food and making your favourite dish in the kitchen is fun and enjoyable, it is important to follow basic kitchen safety rules.

There are countless hazards lying around which could lead to an accident and injury. From sharp knives that could be left lying around, being exposed to an open flame from the oven or stovetop, the use of electrical appliances, and even bacteria in your kitchen.

To prevent harm to yourself and to those around you, it is vital that we pay attention to what we are doing, what is going on around us (especially if there are kids nearby), have a proper plan and system in place when cooking, and have the right safety equipment.

Kitchen Safety Rules

Kitchen Safety Rules

When it comes to kitchen safety rules, here are a few quick tips to adhere to:

1. Always wear shoes.

Have you ever dropped a knife, or something sharp or hot? You don’t want to have your feet exposed when this happens.

It is always recommended to wear shoes whenever you are cooking. Keeping them enclosed will give you that extra protection, whether it is from a falling object, broken glass, hot water or oil spills.

2. Wear safe clothing.

Avoid any long and baggy clothes when working in the kitchen, or dangling jewelry. Having anything hanging out may catch on to anything, from a pot with boiling water, to an open flame over the stove.

Tops with fitted sleeves or no sleeves work best. And keep any flammable or synthetic clothes out of the kitchen as a safety precaution.

3. Avoid burns.

Keep pot handles turned away from the front to avoid accidentally knocking the pot off the stove, or from kids grabbing the handles.

This is much safer than having someone knocking it off the kitchen bench or stove and having the food come flying and burning someone.

Always have potholders or oven mitts handy and close by when handling anything on the stovetop or oven. 

4. Don’t forget to wash your hands.

You would think this is common sense, but a lot of people forget this step.

It’s important you wash your hands in warm soapy water before and after cooking. Try to use paper towels to dry your hands afterward. Dish towels may have raw meat/juice residue from wiping the dishes, and drying your hands with this can lead to food poisoning.

Always wash your hands before you start handling food, and when handling raw meat or poultry, wash your hands again before handling other ingredients to avoid cross-contamination.

Also, remember to wipe or kitchen surfaces and sinks after cooking.

Wash your hands

5. Use different chopping boards for raw meat, fruits, and vegetables.

It may sound tempting to use the one chopping board for everything to make cleaning duties easier later on, but this is a shortcut you don’t want to take.

Using the same chopping board for meats, vegetables and fruits is a guaranteed way to get the whole family sick with salmonella poisoning.

It is advised to use one chopping board for raw meat, poultry and seafood, and another for fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you must use the same board, its safest to prepare your fruits and vegetables first, wash your cutting board thoroughly with soap and hot water, and then prepare your meats.

6. Handle hot dishes with care

Having hot dishes not only poses a risk to yourself but to all those around you.

Never leave stovetop dishes unattended while the burner is on, and use oven mitts when removing a hot lid to avoid burning your hands.

When boiling water, don’t fill it all the way to the top as it will bubble and flow over when hot. And be mindful and ensure you have a clear pathway when moving a pot of boiling water over to the sink.

Any spills should be wiped immediately to prevent any accidents.

7. Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.

The leading cause of fires and injuries in the household occurs when cooking.

Knowing how to use your fire extinguisher in case of an emergency is paramount, as there won’t be time to start reading instructions when a fire has broken out. It takes only seconds for a fire to get uncontrollable.

Learn about different types of fires such as grease and electric fires. Never put them out with water. Instead, your best bet to extinguish them is to use baking soda or a pan cover. Suffocating the fire by removing air is the best way to put out most fires. A fire inside your oven is best put out with an extinguisher, and a microwave fire can be put out just by turning off the appliance and keeping the door closed.

8. Cooking with kids in the kitchen

A great way to bond and have some fun with the kids, it is important to keep a few things in mind.

  • Make sure their hair is tied back if it is long to avoid it catching on anything or blocking their view.
  • Teach them the importance of washing their hands and how to avoid cross-contamination when handling raw and cooked foods.
  • Instruct them that all pots and pans should have the handles facing away from them to avoid any accidental knocks and accidents.

Cooking with kids

9. How to Cook Safely With Oils

Oil is commonly used when cooking meat and vegetables. To avoid injury, make sure to heat oils gradually to avoid it splashing out and causing minor burns.

Always keep an eye on any food in the oven or on the stove to prevent burning, and if something smells of and appears to be burning, turn it off and wait a few minutes before checking the food.

And before cleaning your pots and pans, wait for them to cool completely before attempting to wash and clean the down. Many people use oils when cooking meat, poultry, and veggies. To prevent injury:

10. Store Your Food Properly

How you store and manage your food ultimately determines how fresh and safe the food you end up eating is, and is an integral part of kitchen safety.

  • It is best to refrigerate food within one to two hours, depending on room temperature.
  • Wrap meat or contain it securely so that it is completely isolated from other food.
  • Keep ingredients stored separately, as some foods expire more quickly than others, and storing them together can speed up the oxidization process.
  • Temperature-sensitive foodlike raw meat, fish, and certain dairy products need to be quickly put away before they go off, or contaminate other ingredients

    Kitchen Safety Rules - The Basics and Knives

    Knife Safety Rules

    Now that we’ve covered the basic kitchen safety rules, here are a few quick rules to playing it safe when it comes to knives.

    • Keep your knives sharp by sharpening occasionally. Dull knives can slip and put you at risk of losing control and cutting yourself. you to exert extra force and dull Steak knives cut
    • Always slice away from your hands and watch your fingertips. If you slip or miss when cutting, you don’t want your hand to catch the knife.
    • When mincing, always keep the tip of the knife on the chopping board.
    • When chopping, curl your fingers under and hold the food with your fingertips, while using your knuckles to guide the blade.
    • Steak knives are extremely sharp and are meant for cutting meat. Always pay extra caution.
    • Don’t be tempted to lick off any spreads or cream cheese off the knife. It really can cut your tongue.
    • Choose the right knife for the task at hand. Using a meat cleaver to peel an apple is not a great idea.
    • Make sure your chopping board is secure. If it doesn’t have grip, put a damp towel underneath when cutting.
    • Never slice anything freehand over the sink.
    • If you do happen to cut yourself, quickly wash the cut, apply pressure, raise the cut above your head until the bleeding stops, and then apply antibiotic cream and wrap over with a bandage.

    In Conclusion

    Staying safe requires paying attention, having a plan when in the kitchen, and having the right tools for the job.

    Stay safe and get the right tools for the job as recommended by the professionals. Shop now.

    Further Reading

    Don't Damage Your Knives! 3 Ways To Store Them Correctly

    Which Chopping Board is Best for Your Knife? A Comparison.

    Honing and Sharpening Knives - The difference and why you need to do it

    Rust on Knives - Why It Happens, Tips & Tricks To Remove It

    Knives For a Lifetime - Simple Cleaning Tricks

    How to Sharpen Your Knives Like the Pros

    Kitchen Knife Buying Guide (Cheat Sheet)

    Is My Kitchen Knife Too Sharp? The Ultimate Test

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