Knives are essential in any kitchen, but they can also be dangerous.
Here are the basic kitchen safety rules for knives, as well as how to properly use and handle them.
With these tips, you'll be able to safely chop and dice like a pro!
Basic Kitchen Safety Rules
The kitchen is often the heart of the home, where family and friends gather to cook, eat and relax.
However, it's also one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. From sharp knives to hot surfaces, there are many potential hazards.
That's why it's important to follow some basic safety tips when cooking.
By following these simple safety rules, you can enjoy the kitchen without putting yourself at risk.
1. Wash Your Hands
One of the most important things you can do to stay safe in the kitchen is to wash your hands.
Washing your hands before you start cooking helps to remove any bacteria or contaminants that could end up in your food.
It's also important to wash your hands after handling raw meat, fish or poultry. This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria.
You should also wash your hands after handling any ingredients that could be contaminated, such as eggs or flour.
2. Use A Different Cutting Board For Different Types Of Ingredients
It's important to use a separate cutting board for different types of ingredients. This helps to prevent cross-contamination.
Use one board for raw meats, fish and poultry, and another for fresh fruits and vegetables. If you're using a wooden board, clean it thoroughly between uses.
You should also consider using a disposable cutting board for raw chicken, meat, and fish. This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria.
3. Wear Shoes
Wearing shoes in the kitchen helps to protect your feet from accidental injury.
If you're wearing open-toed shoes, be extra careful around hot surfaces and sharp knives.
4. Wear Safe Clothing
Loose clothing can be a hazard in the kitchen. Make sure to wear clothes that are fitted and not too baggy.
Also, avoid loose sleeves that could catch fire or get caught on something.
5. Avoid Burns
There are many potential sources of burns in the kitchen, from hot surfaces, heating elements, and hot oil.
To avoid burns, always use oven mitts or pot holders when handling hot items. And be careful not to splash hot liquid or soup on yourself.
6. Don't Leave Cooking Food Unattended
Leaving cooking food unattended is a major fire hazard. If you have to leave the kitchen for any reason, turn off the stove or oven first.
It's also a good idea to keep a close eye on food that's cooking on the stovetop. This will help to prevent accidents.
7. Handle Hot Pots And Dishes With Care
Hot dishes can be a hazard, both to you and to others. Always use oven mitts or a pot holder when handling hot dishes.
And be careful not to spill hot food on yourself or anyone else.
8. Have A Fire Extinguisher Handy
A fire extinguisher is a must-have in any kitchen. Make sure you know how to use it before you need it.
And be sure to check the expiration date and keep it up to date.
Pro Tip: Make a note of the Fire Department phone number where you live. You'd be surprised how many people don't actually know it
9. Know Where The Gas Shut-Off Valve Is Located
If you have a gas stove, it's important to know where the gas shut-off valve is located. This will help you to quickly turn off the gas in case of a fire.
Pro Tip: The gas shut-off valve is usually located behind the stove.
10. Cook Safely With Oils And Grease
Oils and grease can be a fire hazard. When cooking with oils, always use a non-stick pan and never leave the stove unattended.
And be sure to clean up any spills immediately.
Pro Tip: Some people recommend Baking Soda for fire, but sometimes it might spread the fire doing more harm than good. Skip it!
11. Store Your Food Properly
Storing your food properly is important for both safety and quality.
Raw meat, fish and poultry should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. And cooked food should be stored in a cool, dry place.
Be sure to label all food so you know when it was made and how long it will last.
- 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
12. Follow Expiration Dates
Expiration dates are there for a reason. Be sure to follow them to avoid food poisoning.
If you're not sure how long something will last, err on the side of caution and throw it out. It's better to be safe than sorry.
13. Thaw Food Safely
When thawing food, always do it in the refrigerator or microwave. Never leave food out at room temperature to thaw.
This can cause bacteria to grow and lead to food poisoning.
Pro Tip: Checkout the raw meats thaw time chart we made just for you!
14. Cook Food Thoroughly
Undercooked food can be dangerous. Be sure to cook food thoroughly, especially meat and poultry.
Use a food thermometer to check that food has reached a safe internal temperature.
Eating raw chicken or pork can lead to serious illness.
15. Use Fresh Ingredients
Fresh ingredients are always best. But if you have to use canned or frozen foods, be sure to check the labels carefully.
Canned food should be free of dents and rust, and frozen food should be solidly frozen.
16. Sanitize All Surfaces
It's important to keep your kitchen clean and sanitary. Be sure to wash all surfaces, including countertops, cutting boards and utensils.
You should also sanitize surfaces with a bleach solution after they've been in contact with raw meat, fish or poultry.
17. Clean Utensils Well
It's important to clean all utensils, including pots, pans and knives. Be sure to wash them in hot, soapy water.
You should also sanitize them with a bleach solution after they've been in contact with raw meat, fish or poultry.
18. Use Proper Knife Techniques
Cutting with a knife can be dangerous. Be sure to use the proper Knife techniques.
And always cut away from yourself.
19. Use Paper Towels For Your Hands
Paper towels are a necessary part of the kitchen. Be sure to use them for drying your hands and cleaning up spills.
And always wash your hands thoroughly after using them
20. Wash Dishcloth And Sponges Regularly
Dishcloths and sponges can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Be sure to wash them in hot, soapy water after each use.
You should also sanitize them with a bleach solution once a week.
21. Put Your Hair Up
It's important to keep your hair up and out of the way while you're cooking.
If your hair is long, be sure to tie it back. And if you have a beard, be sure to trim it regularly.
Bonus: Cooking With Kids
Cooking with kids can be fun. But it's important to be safe. Be sure to supervise them at all times and never leave them unattended.
- To avoid the risk of fire, make sure your child's hair is tied back before starting any cooking activity.
- Make sure they know the importance of washing their hands and how to avoid cross-contamination when handling raw or cooked foods.
- Make sure that all of the pots and pans in being used are facing away from them so they cannot accidentally knock up against something when handling them.
Teaching children from a young age the hazards and dangers of cooking is essential.
Extra Bonus: Knife Safety Rules
Now that we've gone over the basics of kitchen safety let's talk about knives. Knives are one of the most common kitchen tools, but they can also be one of the most dangerous.
Here are some knife safety rules to keep in mind:
- Keep your kitchen knives sharp. Dull knives can slip and put you at risk of cutting yourself. You need to exert more force with dull knives, and that can cause some serious injury.
- Always slice away from your hands and palms and watch your fingertips diligently. You don’t want your hand to be where the knife is going to be.
- When mincing, keep the tip of the knife on the chopping board and use the rocking/cutting technique.
- When chopping, curl your fingers in and hold the food with your fingertips while using your knuckles to guide your chefs knife.
- Don’t be tempted to lick any spreads or cream cheese off of ANY knife. Even a butter knife can cut your tongue.
- Choose the right knife for the task at hand. Using a utility knife to chop bones is not a great idea. Make sure to read more on the Types of Japanese Kitchen Knives and their uses
- Make sure your chopping board is secure. If it doesn’t have grip, put a damp towel or a sheet of kitchen roll underneath when cutting.
- Never slice anything freehand over the sink. Correction. Never slice anything freehand. Period.
- If you do happen to cut yourself, quickly wash the cut with lots of running fresh water, apply pressure, raise the cut above your head until the bleeding stops, and then apply antibiotic cream and wrap over with a bandage. If the cut is very deep, call your doctor or an ambulance to get it looked at, you may need stitches.
The best way to avoid accidents is always to use caution when handling knives. Be sure to follow the safety rules above, and always supervise small children when they are using knives.
There are a lot of things you can do to stay safe in your kitchen.
Making sure you're paying attention, having an emergency plan when necessary, and knowing what tools will be most helpful is important if disaster strikes!
Be prepared with these essentials and always get the right tools for the job as recommended by the professionals. Shop Now