It’s a scary thought but the kitchen is about the most dangerous place in your Alberta home. Not only does it have intense heat, sharp knives, glass, and electrical appliances like mixers and grinders, but also a host of potential pathogens if anyone slips up on the food hygiene front.
Here are 10 tips for kitchen and food safety in your home:
- Know where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them.
- Most kitchen fires start because of over-heated fat or oil. To put out a fat fire cover with a fire blanket or damp cloth and turn off the gas or power. Never use water!
- Hot oil causes bad burns. Don’t ever put water or other liquid into hot cooking oil. It will turn to steam at once and spray hot oil all over the place.
- When you take the top off a boiling pot of water remove the cover far side first so the steam does not scald your hand.
- Keep your knives nice and sharp. Sharp knives cut vegetables easily without the need for force. Blunt knives require pressure and if you slip there is real danger of cuts.
- Wash knives separately. Never leave them in soapy water in the sink or in the dishwasher. They will not be properly visible – another person will not know they are there and cut themselves.
- Broken glass can cause nasty cuts. Clean it up thoroughly with a dustpan and brush. Wrap it carefully in newspaper and then put it in a safe container before disposing of it.
- Keep foods either hot above 149 F (65ºC) or cold below 41F (5ºC). Dangerous bacteria multiply rapidly when food is warm, but can be killed by strong heat.
- Make sure your refrigerator in your home is 41F (5ºC) or less. Do not put a hot dish into the refrigerator. Allow it to cool properly first.
- Avoid cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods. Be especially careful with chicken, shellfish and eggs. Washboards, utensils and hands after preparing each item.