Updated: Mar 8, 2022
What kind of kitchen do you have? Is it the homey sort filled with fresh baking smells, or the centre of the household where everyone gathers, or perhaps it’s minimalist and sparkling?
Whatever kitchen you have there are many risks present, with cuts, burns and food poisoning topping the list. We’ve got some top tips to keep you, your family, and your guests safe and healthy.
Culprits: knives, peelers, graters, opened tins, blender blades, corkscrews, pizza cutters
Store sharp items safely and out of reach of children
Dispose of tins and cans in the recycling straight away
Avoid using knives and implements with wet hands, and make sure handles are dry too
Keep knives sharp so they don’t slip
Slice away from your hand and fingers, and keep fingers out of the way of blades
Always use a steady chopping board and never cut something whilst holding it in your palm
When washing up, keep sharp tools on the side and wash one by one so they aren’t hidden beneath the soap
Culprits: Oven, hobs, kettle, hot pots & pans, boiling water, steam, hot food, fire
Keep oven gloves handy and use them
Position pot handles so they can’t get knocked or grabbed by children
Stand back when lifting pan lids to avoid steam burns
Don’t mix hot liquids in a blender
Stay alert when cooking with hot oil and fats as they can catch fire
Keep a fire extinguisher close by and make sure you know how to use it
Pour and drain hot liquids carefully to avoid splashing
Avoiding food poisoning
Culprits: raw meat, poultry and fish, spoiled food (out of date or left unrefrigerated too long), undercooked meat
Keep temperature sensitive foods in the fridge until you’re ready to use them
Separate raw meat from other foods in your fridge and make sure their ‘juices’ can’t drip onto or contaminate other foods
Use separate chopping boards and utensils for raw meat
Cook foods thoroughly and make sure they are hot throughout before serving
Wash your hands frequently when preparing food and especially before and after preparing raw meat
Pay attention to ‘use by’ dates on food
Cool leftovers quickly and store in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible – write the date and check how long it’s safe to store it.
As well as these measures, there are other steps you can take to keep your kitchen a safe place:
Make sure chemicals are stored safely and out of reach of children.
Ensure your appliances are in good condition and get any electrical concerns checked out by a professional, such as damaged cables or broken sockets.
Check your smoke alarms are working every 6 months - on the shortest and longest days of the year is a good way to remember, and make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home too.
These are just a few of the ways you can stay safe in the kitchen. Think about your kitchen and the actions you take to prevent accidents and illness. What other ways do you stay safe?
Visit nhs.uk for advice about treating cuts, burns & food poisoning.
Our sources and for more information: ROSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Dummies - Kitchen Safety Kent Fire Free Health Promotion Resources: Be the first to receive Health Chatter information, and other content related to employee health and wellbeing by signing up to our Health Chatter emails.