Do you want to know the top kitchen safety tips for 2019? In the last year, the number one injury in the kitchen was cutting an avocado. More sliced hands coined “avocado hand” went to the emergency room than any other kitchen mishap. The knife slices right into the hands surface full of nerves and tendons. Many hand surgeons have been kept busy due to the popularity of avocado toast.
Before that, it was slicing the bagel that caused over 2,000 emergency room trips. Never cut with the knife blade facing toward your hand no matter how careful you are trying to be. Cuts are one of the top two Emergency room statistics for kitchen injuries. Take heed with Mandolins, Cheese Graters, paring knifes and alike.
The second highest cause of injuries in the kitchen is burns. Frying oil burns and fires, scalding water or steam, temperature of hot tap water set too high on water heater, hot glue gun burns, and so many more hazards are right there in the kitchen to be mindful of. Know what they are and keep yourself and your family safe as forewarned.
Other dangers are lurking at every turn in the kitchen each year. Take good care to be aware and be cautious to keep yourself and your family safe from harm. Here are the 50 top kitchen safety tips to look out for in your kitchen:
- Never cut toward your hand. Cutting a bagel or an avocado. One slip and off to the surgeon.
- When using the Mandolin, use the shield. Tips of fingers have been sliced right off.
- Grate the cheese not your knuckle or fingertips.
- Removing the top of a can is dangerous. That edge will slice into a finger or knuckle like a knife.
- An electric slide meat slicer needs a shield to use. Fingers have been sliced right off and you don’t even feel it when it happens.
- Never attempt to catch a knife or scissors when they fall.
- Knives in the bottom of a soapy sink grabbed will cut the unaware. Sit them blade down inside a cup within the sink.
- When washing knives, wash with the blade facing away from you.
- Hone your cutting skills to learn the proper way to chop and slice
- Use the right knife for the job. Learn which knife is best for what you are doing.
- If you value your digits, never try to get items to move in a blender or food grinder with your hand.
- Don’t get tipsy and attempt to chop/slice and dice.
- Hot water scalding from hot water heater set too hot. Take note for the bath as well.
- Deep frying turkey fire-dangers started the same day as the craze. Do your research.
- Steam burns. Take great care when removing pot lids that your hands, arms and face don’t get burned. Emptying the pot of pasta into a colander to drain lets off burning steam as well.
- Hot air burns. Back away when opening an oven. That first release of heat could cause a facial burn. Ask any woman who cooks if they have melted their mascara opening the oven.
- Spatter burns happen from a frying pan or deep fryer. Use rear burners and be cautious. Wearing eye protection is recommended.
- All at the table should be warned and protection provided when serving food on the table in a casserole dish just out of the oven.
- Hot saucepan and frying pan handles overhanging the front of the stove may get hit and come crashing down causing the worst life altering type of burn. Position handles inward.
- If a fire starts in the oven, leave the door closed and shut off the burner. It should burn itself out. If it doesn’t look like it will, leave the door closed and call the fire dept.
- Have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen for emergencies. It may save your life.
- If a pan on the stove catches fire, don’t panic. Get a top to the pan and put it on and shut the burner off. The fire will go out. If not, call the fire department.
- Don’t attempt to use a wet rag or wet oven mitt to move a hot pan from the oven. The wet will heat up instantly and cause an immediate burn.
- Immediately clean up floor spills before you get sidetracked and forget. Slipping in the kitchen with a hot pan in hand will certainly cause injury.
- A burning hot glass pan or casserole should never be placed on a cool or cold counter. The glass may shatter due to the exposure of the extreme temperature difference.
- Keep the overhead stove hood filters clean from oil. Built up oil splatters catch fire easily.
- Take care not to mix two cleaners together. Serious chemical reactions can cause toxic fumes that can affect your eyes and your breathing.
- Working with spicy ingredients like cutting hot peppers of any kind, onions and even some hot spices will irritate eyes from fumes or by rubbing your eyes after handling. Be sure to wash your hands and utensils completely after contact.
- Burns do happen from frying spatter. If you wear glasses, wear them to safeguard. If you don’t, consider getting some plain lens glasses for cooking. They are inexpensive and available at almost every big box store and pharmacy.
- Disinfect all surfaces after preparing raw meats and fish. Harmful bacteria can multiply fast causing sickness and maybe even death.
- Self-cleaning ovens when set to clean can reach up to 700F. This high temperature can cause fumes that could be harmful to humans and pets as well as be a cause of fire.
- If you have ever forgotten to clean out the lint trap, you know your clothes won’t dry. It also becomes a fire trap.
- Cleaning with harsh cleaning solutions have harmful fumes. If your kitchen isn’t properly ventilated, breathing in the fumes is as harmful on your lungs as smoking cigarettes. Use more organic cleaners like white vinegar to avoid the fumes.
- Take note of the expiration dates on foods in your home and in your elderly parents. Eating extremely expired foods could cause serious illness if ingested.
- Clean your hood exhaust vents monthly or weekly if you are cooking constantly on the stovetop. Built up oils collect and could start a house fire from a minor pan flare up.
- Guard against eye irritations from handling hot peppers and spices then rubbing your eyes or nose unconsciously. Keep eye cups and eye flush nearby if this is needed.
- Don’t use the same knife you cut your meat with for your vegetables unless washing thoroughly with soap in between tasks.
- Don’t cut meat on surfaces that other foods are prepared on.
- Don’t thaw meat out of the refrigerator. This is the #1 warning from the USDA
- Be sure to cook poultry entirely for the safety of those eating. Make sure it is 165F interior reading on the thermometer.
- Take care to not trip over your furry friend who shadows every step you take.
- Speaking of that furry member of the family, be conscious of where they are when moving around the kitchen. How many times have you tripped over them not knowing they are there?
- Do not iron on worktops or tables. The heat could cause lamination to come loose.
- Don’t scrape your knife on the cutting board. It dulls the blade making it more dangerous to cut with. Bench scrapers are best suited for transferring chopped veggies.
- Don’t put wood utensils, boards or wood handled knives in the dishwasher to clean. Fasteners will loosen from the heat. You will cut the longevity of your tools.
- Use plastic or silicon tools on non-stick pans. Take good care not to scratch your non-stick pans and they will last you. Once scratched, the pan will emit chemicals not intended for ingesting.
- Blunt Force Trauma is what the Emergency Room calls it. Anyone who has come up full force into an open cabinet will attest to the pain it can inflict. If you become unconscious from a hit like this, have someone take you to the Emergency Room to be examined. If it is just a bad bump while remaining conscious, pull out the frozen peas and put them on the point of impact.
- In our haste we often try to do many things all at once multi-tasking. Slow down and take the time to be safe by closing cabinets when you are done with them.
- Have a First Aid Kit in your kitchen ready to use if necessary.
- Have a Fire Extinguisher in your kitchen at all times.
Knife Safety / Cuts
Cleanliness and Safety
Maintain the Longevity of your Kitchen Tools
Bumping Your Head
IF YOU DO HAVE A SERIOUS ACCIDENT, go to your nearest emergency room immediately.
Injuries are no joke. Dinners can be reheated or replaced. If you have an injury stop and treat the injury. Any cut, burn or eye injury should be attended to immediately by a professional. Make sure the oven and all the burners are off and attend to any injury right away. Dinner can wait. Be safe.