Basics for Handling Kitchen Equipment Safely

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An oven mitt prevents burns in the kitchen.

The same room that produces tasty, nutritious food can quickly turn into the most dangerous room in the house. Children, and adults new to the kitchen, need to learn where the dangers lurk and how to avoid them. Without this information, cuts, electrical jolts and burns could ruin someone's day or health.



Angling knives away while cutting keeps the cook safe.

Store your knives safely in a butcher's block or drawer, putting them away right after washing. Keep knives sharp for safe, smooth cutting, and slice or cut food only on a cutting board, angling the blade away from yourself. Keep your cutlery clean, but never toss a blade into a sink or wash basin in case someone reaches unaware into the dishwater. Adults should supervise children when they use knives and teach them to always hold them point down and to avoid distractions when cutting.


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Kitchen appliances used incorrectly can injure people. Teach children to use basic equipment first and then graduate to electrical appliances as they grow older and more experienced. Always use microwaves, pans and pots, toasters and other cooking appliances only with food inside, and stay in the kitchen while operating all appliances. Keep gas and electric stoves and appliances in top working condition to avoid gas leaks and electrical shocks.


Burns and Fires

Burn and fire hazards hide all around the kitchen, especially near the stove or oven. Only touch hot pans, dishes or pots with an oven mitt or pot holder, and arrange pots with their handles pointing away from the burners and the edge of the stove. Beware of steam rising from pots and take care when handling hot liquids. To avoid fire, keep fabrics, towels, curtains and paper products away from the stove and always turn off the oven or burners when you finish cooking. Keep a fire extinguisher rated for kitchen fires nearby and accessible and know how to use it properly.


Other Hazards

Other potential dangers in your kitchen include glass dishes and glasses, which can shatter if dropped or knocked against a counter or table. Also, wipe up spills quickly to avoid slips and falls and contamination in the kitchen. Even what you wear can cause accidents, because loose clothing and flowing sleeves can catch on fire, become tangled in a mixer or other appliance or knock something over. Also take care when carrying hot pans or those holding hot foods or liquids and make sure you have a clear path between the stove and table or sink.



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