Your kitchen is very dangerous!
By Diamond Shelton
LET ME ASK?
Are you using any oils to make any flames?
Is your food burning when you cook it?
Story by Joe Yonan
It happened so fast. I was frantically chopping and measuring last fall, testing a recipe for tamales for The Post’s Food section, when I set my knife my new, ultra-sharp chef’s knife on the edge of a cutting board, which itself was perched at the edge of my kitchen counter. When I reached for some ingredient or another, I knocked the knife by the handle, and it began to spin, and then to fall off the board and off the counter.
I didn’t try to catch it, I swear. I know the old kitchen-safety saying: “A falling knife has no handle.” But I couldn’t move out of the way fast enough. And before I knew it, I was clutching my right pinkie finger, pressing on a throbbing wound and holding my hand above my head to try to get the bleeding to stop. It wouldn’t. The wound was deep, the pain was intense and the situation was clear. I needed to get to the ER, fast.
The kitchen is considered the most dangerous room in the house for good reason, and not just because of those knives. Ask any passionate cook to roll up her sleeves, and you’re likely to see burn scars on arms that touched 400-degree oven racks, palms that grabbed sizzling pots without the protection of mitts, or fingers that were splattered by hot oil.While burns can be painful, it’s the cuts that most often lead to the ER. Knife accidents at home led to hospital visits almost 330,000 times in 2011, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a survey maintained by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In a sample of more than 8,000 of these cases, more than two-thirds of the injuries were to fingers.
As my own experience proves, hurting yourself in the kitchen isn’t just for newbies.