The kitchen is a place of fun and activity. So much activity that we all need to have some smarts to stay safe. Even master chefs need to follow these important rules to keep accidents from happening.
- Clean as you go. Every chef, young or old, should get into the habit of cleaning after each step. This way, you won’t be left with a huge mess at the end. Wipe your cutting board down, put scraps in the compost bin and stack dirty dishes beside the sink. A clear workspace is a safe workspace.
- No running in the kitchen. Kitchens are super fun but aren’t playgrounds. A kitchen has things that are sharp or hot, so you shouldn’t be running and jumping around.
- Have oven mitts or a dry cloth handy when grabbing something off the stove or out of the oven.
- When opening a hot oven, keep your face and body clear. Heat rises and the oven can let out a burst of steam when the door is opened. The steam should only take a couple of seconds to escape, so sit tight.
- When lifting the lid off a pot, tilt the lid away from your body. Any hot air trapped under the lid will move away from you.
- Turn the handles of pots and pans away from you. An accidental nudge can send a pot flying and cause a dangerous spill.
- After you wash your hands, don’t touch your face. Do like the chefs do: When your face is itchy, scratch it on your shoulder. If you do scratch your face with your hand, just go back and wash your hands again before getting back to your recipe.
- If you have long hair, tie it back. Hair can get into your food and block your view!
- Make sure your nails are clipped and clean before you work in the kitchen. Short nails make dirt trapped under them easier to wash away. This stops dirt from transferring into your food.
- Unplug small machines like blenders and toasters right after you use them. Then they won’t accidentally get bumped and turned on.
- Don’t leave the kitchen while the stove or oven is on. Accidents can happen quickly in the kitchen and you need to pay attention. If you need to leave, turn off any heating elements before you go.