Following the recent horrific fatality involving a young fitness blogger and a whipped cream dispenser, it has risen to our attention the importance to remember the different health and safety dangers that arise with different equipment when cooking at home. Within this article we have depicted some vital points to keep in mind when you’re using these tools in the kitchen:
Despite various other health and safety procedures that we recognise when working in the kitchen; a key element to kitchen safety is guaranteeing that the correct tools are used in order to make cooking both easier and safer. In particular, it is highly recommended that you use a good set of knives, which you have correctly learnt how to use. Though they may seem like a costly investment, purchasing a well-made knife will not only last for decades – but also will allow for safer and easier cooking.
Here are some tips to help you choose the correct knives and ensure you care for them properly:
- An 8-inch knife, straight-edged knife is recommended as a starting point, allowing you to cut most foods. Alongside this, a 10-inch serrated knife is recommended for cutting thick breads and roasts.
- Instead of putting your knives in the dishwasher, washing them by hand in detergent and then towel drying immediately after will help them to last longer. However, taking care with handling the blade in the sink is vital to avoid cutting your hand.
- It is necessary to make sure that knives are kept out of the reach of children and aren’t used for ‘odd jobs’ around the house, as this can damage the blade and be dangerous. A recommended way of storing knives is on a magnetic bar, or in a knife block.
- Knives become blunt when used repeatedly, and a blunt knife is more likely to cause an accident. Because of this, make sure that your knives are constantly sharp by using a sharpening tool. You can also use an electric or manual knife sharpener for non-serrated blades.
As well as these basic tips, learning how to properly use your knife is important. Professional chefs spend hours training how to use a knife effectively and safely, but we’ve listed the basics to help guide you:
- Hold the knife firmly and close to the blade for better control.
- Keep the fingers of your opposite hand (which are holding the food in place) curled under, with your thumb tucked underneath. Keep this hand held parallel to the blade to use as a guide.
- Inch your hand back as you make each slice to avoid cutting yourself.
- To keep odd shaped fruit or vegetables such as a cucumber or a bell pepper steady whilst cutting it, first slice it in half lengthways. Then after this, position it cut side down and continue cutting.
Regarding which cutting board you should be using alongside your knife, choose a cutting board which can be easily cleaned and is made of a dish-washer safe material. Buying separate cutting boards is recommended so that you have one for your raw meats, poultry and fish, to avoid cross-contamination. Additionally, make sure the board is always clean after use, by giving it a thorough wash, to avoid food poisoning.
Pots and Pans
Many pots and pans can be made of a much heavier metal, but are more superior than regular ones as it means they heat up better. However, this makes them harder to lift, causing a risk with living substantial objects. Make sure you follow these tips when it comes to pots and pans:
- Try to choose lightweight cookware, to avoid straining.
- Pots with two handles are much more easier to handle than those with only one handle.
- If you need to move heavy pans when they’re on the hob, try to slide them rather than lift. This will help aid in you avoiding hurting yourself.
- Make sure pot and pan handles are turned inwards when they’re on the stove so that they can’t be knocked by a passerby.
We hope that these basic tips that you must follow with various different kitchen equipment have helped to remind you of the dangers that might arise whilst you are cooking at home, and how easy it is to avoid them with these simple guidelines.
The information contained in this article has been created for marketing purposes and is not official guidance and should not be used as a substitute for official food safety, health & safety nor fire safety advice.
Food Alert take no responsibility if the information in the article is used to form part of a safety management system or used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business. For official guidance and to engage with Food Alert services please do call our team on 020 7244 1900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org