Kitchens are one of our favorite places to be while at home because we get to prepare food, which most of us enjoy and eat. We spend some significant time there, and knowing your way around is very important.
Kitchen safety is crucial while preparing and cooking food because you interact with fire and other potentially hazardous objects. You need to realize that part of a good kitchen organization is preparing and planning for safety in the kitchen.
It is not one of those things you sort out after t has happened. You prepare for it because accidents in the kitchen are somewhat inevitable. You are not only dealing with food but electricity and fire that are potential causes of accidents.
Safety procedures in the kitchen
Maintaining safety procedures in the kitchen may seem like common sense until you forget, and one small thing leads to a problem. The most important thing to remember is that you are responsible for your safety in the kitchen, and the more careful you are, the better for the people around you using the same kitchen.
They are potentially dangerous places to work, and we all face a range of health and safety risks. You can slip, trip or fall, causing bruises or cause an accident while lifting a heavy load of food.
Another risk is the high temperatures that may cause burns, smoke, an allergen to asthmatics, and sharp equipment that could cause injury. Some procedures you could apply in your kitchen to make it safe are:
- Make sure your kitchen has non-slip flooring, which is easy to clean and maintain. This is especially great if you have kids who keep running in the kitchen.
- Any spills should be wiped immediately, and if there is any obstruction along the path to the kitchen, it should be removed.
- Get rid of any appliance that may be damaged or repair it if you can. The best option would be to get a new one because sometimes once you repair an appliance, it will not be the last time you do.
- Make sure to turn off the stoves or burners once you take the pot off. If the food is still cooking, do not leave the kitchen unattended.
- Make sure you have proper clothing without any sleeves or sweaters hanging. They are a fire hazard and would cause nasty burns.
- Keep matches and lighters in high places that the kids may not reach. You do not want them experimenting with that.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near or in the kitchen just in case. Let it e far away from the stoves, though.
- Ensure appliances are plugged off before you start handling the sharp parts because they may still be running.
- Avoid being casual because you may get a casualty. Chatting in the kitchen is not bad as long as your attention is not divided.
- Always ask for help if you want to reach high surfaces or a step-stool to get something from the top shelves to avoid tripping and toppling things over.
- Keep the children away from the kitchen at all costs. You would instead play in another room as you cook first.
- While handling knives follow the following:
- Use a chopping board to avoid causing scratches on the kitchen tops. The food could also slip causing you to cut yourself
- Keep the knives clean and their handles too.
- While cleaning, do not leave them in the sink in the soapy water. Clean them first.
- Do not, at any point, attempt to catch a falling knife. You would instead collect it from the ground.
- Keep electrical appliances away from water and also do not touch electrical sockets with wet hands to prevent shocks.
- Never add water onto a hot pan with hot oil in it. It may splash and spatter burning someone.
- Be careful when lifting the lid while cooking because the hot steam may burn you.
Rules for food sanitation
Improper food sanitation may cause the breeding of bacteria that may lead to illnesses that you would have avoided. Sometimes we look at our kitchen surfaces and think just because we can’t see the bacteria that they are clean.
The kitchen needs daily cleaning to keep away bacteria and pests too.
How To Practice Proper Food Sanitation
- Wash your hand with soap and water before you start handling any food in the kitchen. Even when you go out of the kitchen and do something else, make sure to wash them immediately again. Also, wash your hands after handling any raw meat. They tend to have bacteria that could contaminate other food.
- Just wash your hands when you:
- Start working
- After going to the washroom
- Are done coughing or sneezing
- Are Scratching or touching your hair
- Handling waste materials
- You are done petting your pet companion
- After washing your hands, do wipe them with a clean kitchen towel and not your apron or clothes. Paper towels are the best to use when cleaning up because they do not transfer bacteria on other parts of the counters or stoves.
- Prepare and cook sufficient food that will not have to be refrigerated. Saves you energy but also wasting. Do not taste the food with the same utensil you use to stir with. Use a spoon for that.
- Prepare frozen foods that are pre-cooked as intended on the package to avoid undercooking.
Rules of Kitchen hygiene
Food poisoning has become rampant, and this may majorly be caused by a lack of hygiene in the kitchen. Hygiene is the practice of ways of maintaining health and preventing illnesses and diseases.
Kitchen hygiene is when you consistently practice measures that keep the kitchen clean and bacteria-free through the way you handle food and utensils.
Maintaining kitchen hygiene
- Wash your hands regularly. Handwashing is essential in the kitchen before you touch anything. This will reduce the transfer of bacteria and pathogens in food and utensils.
- Clean and disinfect the kitchen surfaces and chopping boards before preparing any food. Just because you do not see any dirt does not mean there aren’t any germs.
- Let your food cook thoroughly. Many people love undercooked food and believe it is healthier. That may be true, but some foods like meat need to cook above 170 to get rid of bacteria or viruses that may cause food poisoning. Also, wash vegetables and fruits to get rid of bacteria before cooking them.
- Do not wash meat. It may feel as a hygienic thing to do, but washing it under the tap may transfer the bacteria to other parts of the kitchen, causing food contamination.
- Keep your fridge always chilled under 0 to 5 temperature to keep your food chilled. You could use a thermometer to make sure it has the right temperature.
- Store leftovers properly and make sure they are eaten before 48 hours. If you still have them after 48 hours, keep them in the freezer.
- Personal hygiene is also paramount while working in the kitchen. You need to be clean, starting with your hands and even your clothes. You can have a clean apron on which you regularly wash. If you are sick, try as much as you can to stay away from the kitchen to avoid contaminating food and utensils. Keep your spare clothes like a sweater or your mobile phone away from the kitchen. Also, tie any loose hair to avoid getting it into the food.
Kitchen safety and hygiene require effort and willingness to do the right thing. It will all benefit you if you follow the kitchen rules and regulations to keep food safe and be careful when handling fires and electricity.