On Sunday, January 31 at 4 pm I will be sharing ways the top 10 ways to stay safe in the kitchen with Unique Home Solutions at the
Indianapolis Home Show. Below is the list we put together. What would YOU add?
Did you know?
*The average kitchen has more than 567,845 parts of bacteria in it.
*Sponges are notorious for harboring bacteria and many do not think to throw them away,
wash in the washing machine or run through the dishwasher after each use.
* The kitchen sink has more than 17,964 parts of bacteria in it not to mention the drain and faucet.
Another good reason not to let water and liquids sit in the sink.
The CDC reports that the United States has :
76 million food borne illnesses
and at least 5000 deaths A YEAR due to foo. and kitchen contamination.
There are also over 200 diseases that are spread through food.
But what can we do to stay safe?
How can we prevent burns, fires, cuts, and other injuries in the kitchen?
Unique Home Solutions and I have compiled a list of our TOP TEN- plus a few extras.
- Cross contamination: Have one cutting board for raw proteins, one for all other uses. Color code them if it helps ie: red is meat, green is veggie.
- Wash wash: Not only are hands a carrier of bacteria and germs, but so are other commonly touched surfaces like refrigerator handles, counter tops, drawer pulls, microwave touch pad and the faucet on the sink. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly before cooking and after handling meat, fish and eggs and give the common surfaces a wipe down at the end of the day or after cooking your meal.
- The stove top: We all have been taught to turn pot handles in to prevent accidental tipping, but also be sure to keep towels and pot holders away from the flame or surface of a burner. It is a great idea to have a small fire extinguisher on hand just in case. Be sure, in the event of a fire, to throw baking soda on the flames and not water.
- Watch hanging objects: If you are wearing long sleeves to protect from splatters or burns be sure the sleeves are fitted well and not hanging down. Tie back hair to keep from getting caught in a kitchen appliance (or a stray hair falling in food) or catching fire, and also remove dangling jewelry or bracelets before cooking.
- Sharper edge: It goes without saying that sharp knives are actually safer than dull ones. Keep your knives sheathed in a drawer or in a knife block or on a magnetic strip away from little ones or the counter edge. Learning proper knife skills can also go far to prevent injury.
- Slippery when wet: In the kitchen, spills, drips and boil overs are bound to happen. Be sure to wipe those up immediately to avoid falls or slips.
- Frayed not: replace, repair or throw away any appliance that is broken, missing vital pieces or has a damaged cord. Don’t hang onto that item thinking you may need it someday or find a use for it.
- Little helpers: Teaching kids to cook is important but it all starts with safety. Start small chefs off with kid-safe knives and tools and go from there. Teach them to wash their hands, what the large and small appliances do and what items should not be used together ie: metal in a microwave. These little lessons can go far to teach for a lifetime.
- It’s getting hot in here: It sounds like common sense to say: keep hot food hot, keep cold food cold- but it isn’t. Eggs, mayonnaise, meats, dairy, etc has a definite safe holding temperature and deviating from that can cause illness from the benign to the extreme. Be sure your refrigerator and freezer temperatures are checked from time to time with a proper temperature. Ideal refrigerator temp is 35 degrees F and the freezer at 0 degrees F. In addition, immediately chill all leftovers and toss out after 3-4 days just to be safe.
- Mr Yuck: It’s a good idea to keep all chemicals, cleaners, trash bags, detergent pods and the like high enough that toddlers cannot reach it or behind a locked cabinet. A simple plastic child-proof lock, available at most stores, can deter even an inquisitive child.
*Cabinet drawer pulls are safer when they don’t have corners that stick out and can catch on clothing
*Slip resistant flooring is a safe addition to the kitchen
*Remove loose rugs – if you have a favorite, put a slip resistant backing under it
*Lever handled faucets not only make it easier to maneuver around but are also great for those with arthritis – a single finger can push or pull
*If you are having some medical issues, raising or lowering the cabinets to a safer work height will lesson injuries in the kitchen as well
*Your water heater should be set at 120 degrees max. so as to avoid any scalding or burns
This post was presented in partnership with Unique Home Solutions- the Midwest’s leader in home remodeling and kitchen and bath design.
Like all posts on Basilmomma.com all opinions expressed are my own.