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General Kitchen Tips

Dress for safety:

  • Wear shoes with flat soles to minimize falls and help you stand in a balanced position. Leather uppers with closed toes protect from burns; cloth shoes absorb spilled liquids and prolong burning.
  • Keep arms and legs covered for protection, and don't wear leggings; they absorb hot liquids spilled on them. It is important to wear clothes that are comfortable and easily cleaned. If you wear a favorite outfit, you won't relax and will find yourself in awkward positions trying to protect your clothes.
  • Be careful of long dangling jewelry, it can get stuck in kitchen equipment.
  • It is also important to keep your hair contained, not just to keep it out of prepared foods, but also for your own safety - hair is flammable.
  • Long nails are dangerous in a kitchen; they harbor germs and interfere with proper knife skills.
Handle your knives properly:
  • Keep knives sharp.
  • Be alert when using a knife; don't get careless or distracted.
  • Never cut towards yourself; always cut away from yourself.
  • Don't hold food in your hand to cut it - keep it on a cutting board.
  • Use the correct knife for the job; i.e. Chef's knife for chopping, bread knife for breads and tomatoes, paring knife for peeling and small work.
  • Never put your guiding hand on the end of the knife blade for extra leverage; some people might do this when cutting cheese.
  • Never leave knives in the sink.
  • Never put knives in the dishwasher.
  • When walking with a knife, hold it with the side loosely pressed against your thigh.
  • Don't store knives loose in drawer.
  • Don't try to catch falling knives.
Preventing burns:
  • Always have kitchen towels, hot pads, or oven mitts readily accessible.
  • Never use a damp towel to hold a hot pot or pan.
  • Be cautious with steam; don't look into a hot pot when opening the lid, and let steam subside first.
  • Saute or fry foods with high water content carefully; step back when submerging pieces into oil as the water content will cause the oil to spit and splatter.
  • When sauteing, put item in slowly, starting with end nearest yourself and slowly lower the item away from you.
  • Keep pan handles turned in and out of the path of people walking by.
  • Don't carry pots with hot oil; let oil return to room temperature before transporting.
Electrical appliances:
  • Dry hands before unplugging appliances.
  • Don't pull on cords to unplug.
  • Don't keep appliances next to a water source.
  • Have all frayed cords repaired by an electrician.
  • Don't plug too many items into one outlet.

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