3 Safety Tips for New or First Time Cooks

David is a food and travel writer at FoodBloggrs.com. Although a keen and reasonably skilled cook, he still follows a basic set of health and safety principles in the kitchen which, so far, have left him in good health – for the most part at least.

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The kitchen can be a danger zone, especially when a new cook is involved. Don’t let that put you off. Although most chefs, even those at the top of the ladder will gain a few burns and bumps every now and then, it’s possible to cook with the least possible damage if you follow a few basic safety tips.

Sharp Knives

Sharp knives are a must if you want to cook, but they’re also quite dangerous if you’re not careful. (This Foodbloggrs writer has had one too many close calls) If you’re carving, always remember to cut away from yourself. If the knife slips you’ll want it to point in the other direction to the one you’re standing. Another top safety tip is to curl your fingers in when chopping, resting the knife against your knuckles.

A sharp knife can be safer than a blunt knife. If you’re cutting by resting the knife against your knuckles and gently pressing down as opposed to wildly chopping with your fingertips exposed, you’re less likely to cause yourself an accident.

Oil

Never put water into hot oil. This will only cause the oil to splatter. If you’re putting meat or vegetables that contain a large proportion of water into the oil be aware that this will cause the oil to splatter as well, which can easily lead to boiling.

Regardless of the water level of what you’re frying, never ‘plop’ it into the pan. This is only more likely to cause the oil to splash.

Finally, when frying avoid doing so naked or without a top on. It’ll only end in tears.

Washing your Hands

Always wash your hands after you’ve been handling meat to avoid cross-contamination. It’s best to wash your hands with soap and water to ensure you get everything off your hands.

If you’re handling chiles, be aware that the oils from the chile will stay on your hands. Don’t touch your eyes, or any other sensitive parts of your body, otherwise you’ll cause yourself a lot of pain. Again a good douse of soapy water can help, although be aware that some of the h3er chillies will really need a good scrubbing to come off.

Pots and Pans

Invest in a good pair of oven mitts. Although you can use a tea-towel, it’s nowhere near as good as the mitts themselves. A tea-towel is also likely to drape in front of open flames which can cause other problems as well.

When lifting lids off of pots and pans, be wary of steam. Steam can burn just as much as direct contact with heat and can require serious medical attention in some cases.

Finally, never, ever stick metal items such as a form into the toaster. The results may shock you.

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