Health and Safety When Cooking

Health and safety when cooking is very important. Safely using heating products is exceptionally important as they can be highly dangerous if they aren’t used properly.

Take a look below at the measures you can take in the home to prevent an accident when cooking products.

Cooking Safely with Kids

cooking and heating safetyCooking with kids can be a great way to have fun and get them to learn how to cook. Although the kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in the home if you are not careful. Here are some steps you can take to the kitchen to make it a safer place.

  • Keep knives and sharp cutlery away from children. Chop away from yourself and always on a chopping board.
  • Keep knives in good condition (a blunt knife can be just as dangerous as a sharp one).
  • Use cordless or coiled lead kettles so that young children can’t pull them down.
  • Keep heavy items on low shelves and regularly used items in a place that is easy to reach.
  • Turn your panhandles inwards so that they can’t be pulled down by children.
  • If there are young children around, take care when carrying hot food and drinks.
  • Wear appropriate shoes to protect your feet from hot spills or breakages.
  • Tie back long hear to avoid it coming into contact with the food or potentially burning.
  • Make sure children aren’t running around the room during any part of the process.
  • Clean up spills as soon as they happen to remove any slip or trip hazard.
  • Always use oven mitts when moving hot dishes, tea towels are not an advised replacement.
  • Supervise children at all times in the kitchen and help them with difficult and potentially dangerous tasks.

Cooking Hygiene Tips

  • Wear a clean apron to prevent germs spreading, your clothes can harbour more germs than you think. Your clothes can also prevent loose clothing from coming into contact with heat.
  • Keep your hands and surface clean to avoid spreading of infection and cross-contamination.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables under cold water before using them, make sure all dirt is removed.
  • Use hot soapy to clean utensils.
  • Wash clean dishes first and the dirtiest last to save on dishwater.

Essential Cooking Tools To Cook Safely

It’s important to use the right utensil for the right task to avoid spills or accidents. Make sure that you use tools with appropriate grips so that they are easier to use. Use tongs to move hot items that are firm enough to grip and be mindful of splashing hot liquid.

If you are a cooking novice make sure you use sharp tools slowly and carefully. be mindful of graters, mandolins and zester which also can be deceivingly sharp.

How do you put out a kitchen fire?

Kitchen fires come in many different forms so its important to know how to deal with fires from different sources.

Grease fires need to be smothered to extinguish. Do not use water to put a grease fire out. Pour baking soda over the flames or if possible cover them with a large pot.

Electrical fires need to be cut off at their source, but only if it’s safe to do so. Shut the appliance door, turn it off and unplug it. The call the emergency services. Do not use water for an electrical fire, use a fire extinguisher.

To avoid stove fires happening, never leave cooking food unattended. Always turn appliances of as soon as you are done with them.

How to cook food properly

It’s important to cook food properly to avoid becoming ill from food poisoning.  The general guideline is to aim for an internal temperature of  75 °C or hotter when cooking food. By heating food thoroughly, you are killing most of the harmful bacteria. Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature.

When microwaving food you need to follow a similar process, it’s important to regularly stir food and check the internal temperature to make sure food is cooked evenly. This also needs to be considered when reheating food.

Storing cooked food properly

Storing food to eat later needs to be done properly ti getting ill. There are two ways in which you can store hot food:

  • When refrigerating food, let it cool down until the steam stops rising then cover and refrigerate.
  • If you plan to keep the food warm, it is essential you keep it hotter than 60 °C.

If you are planning to store food for a long time, freeze it rather than putting it in the fridge. Keep raw and cooked meat separate from each other and seal it properly to avoid juices spreading.

Gas Safety

Home safety heating cookingWhen you are buying gas appliances, make sure that the appliances and the installers are up to standard. Make sure that the products have the British Seal of Approval or the British Standards Safety Mark.

Keep an eye out for any symptoms of gas leaks; carbon monoxide poisoning can make you drowsy, lethargic and have flu-like symptoms. Waste gases such as CO can come from fuel-burning appliances, it also drains the oxygen from the air.

Another indication of the accumulation of CO is when a gas flame that normally burns blue, burns orange. If you suspect any of the above, open a window to ventilate the room and turn of the gas supply. Have all the relevant appliances checked and call your energy supplier to report the problem. If you suspect a leak in your house no not operate any light switches, the power could ignite the gas which could be fatal.

Ventilation

It is important to allow a room to ventilate so that fresh air comes in and any waste gases go out. Avoid blocking any airbricks, vents or outside grilles to ensure this happens.

Fire Prevention in the Home

For more home safety tips take a look at our blog “Fire Prevention in the Home

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