Staying Safe In the Kitchen

By Hiba Rasheed

The Importance of Food and Kitchen Safety

Staying unscathed when cooking food is vital, and so is avoiding any possible infection from foodborne illnesses. This brochure will layout all the proper steps needed to ensure your safety when cooking.

Preventing Kitchen Accidents

The 6 main types of kitchen accidents are easy to prevent if the proper procedures are followed.

Preventing Slips and Falls

For the prevention of any slips and falls, simply ensure all doors and drawers are closed. Also, clean up spills as soon as they occur.

Preventing Burns and Fires

Burns could easily be avoided by never touching heating units and always remembering to wear oven mitts or pot holders whenever something is being taken out of the oven. To prevent any possible fires, ensure the food is always being watched over and keep anything flammable (i.e. dish towels, recipes) away from the burners.

Preventing Cuts

To prevent any possible injury from a knife, store and wash them seperately from other utensils. Be careful not to put knives in water that is soapy, as it is hard to see the knife and could potentionally harm an unsuspecting individual.

Preventing Shocks

Never touch electrical equipment with wet hands to avoid shocks, and always grasp the plug instead of the cord when removing it from the outlet.

Preventing Poisoning

Lastly, poisoning could be prevented by never mixing chemicals together and ensuring all cleaning products are in their original container.

Things To Do In An Emergency

If you took precaution and followed the steps to prevent all the kitchen accidents yet they still occurred, remember these methods of dealing with emergencies in the kitchen. When there is a fire, first identify what kind of fire it is. Fires started in pots will need to be smothered by baking soda and lids need to be put over the pot with the heating unit turned off. If the fire is in the oven, however, it is crucial to keep the oven door shut and to turn off the oven. A cut could be easily dealt with by washing it with water and a soap that doesn’t hurt even more when coming in contact with the cut. Then, apply pressure on the cut with a paper towel to stop the bleeding and use a bandage or gauze to cover it up. Similarly to cutes, all burns need to be washed with cold water for at least 10 minutes and then cleaned with water and soap. After, a cold cloth should be applied to ensure that the temperature of the area near the burn is lowered. Lastly, if you suspect you have been poisoned, call poison control at (416)-813-5900 to get further assistance on how to handle the situation.

All About Foodborne Illnesses

Bacteria need certain conditions to be met for them to thrive in that environment. For example, the presence of food, especially moist food in a warm temperature, provides a favourable climate for the bacteria and will therefore multiply the most in these conditions. Other conditions that promote growth are the presence of oxygen, the level of acidity, and the amount of time it has been exposed to those conditions. Bacteria do not favour highly acidic food, especially when there is a lack of oxygen, as oxygen is crucial for growth and acidic environments aren’t suitable for the microorganisms. If all or most of these conditions are met without the person taking necessary action to prevent it, a foodborne illness will most likely result from this. Some common foodborne illnesses are salmonella, listeria, ecoli, botulism, and campylobacter. Common food sources of these illnesses are undercooked foods (i.e. meats, milk + milk products, fruits + vegetables) so it is vital to cook your food properly!

Preventing Foodborne Illnesses

Foodborne illnesses could be prevented in four easy steps. It is vital to remember to clean, cook, separate, and chill your food. When dealing with food, always wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds before coming in contact with any food. Also, ensure that all food has the required internal temperature to kill any pathogens that could possibly cause illnesses. Separate cutting boards should be used for meat and fresh produce as the pathogens from the meat could affect the produce. Furthermore, placing anything cooked back in the same place where raw meat previously was can never be done, as the pathogens from the raw meat will enter the cooked food. Lastly, defrosting food at room temperature is forbidden as it will enter the danger zone and bacteria will multiply rapidly, likely leading to a foodborne illness.