Feed your Family Safely: 10 Habits to Keep in the Kitchen

As part of National Safety Month this June, we’re looking at how we can keep ourselves safe at work and in the home. 

Just like we have guidelines to keep our workplaces safe, our families should set rules for how to keep ourselves safe at home. Each room in a typical family house has items that pose certain risks, but the kitchen has by far the largest gathering of them. Even knowing the safety dangers, the best home chefs can get relaxed and make mistakes sometimes. Brush up on your kitchen safety with this list! 

10 Safety Habits to Keep in the Kitchen

  1. Always handle knives and sharp tools with caution, and store them away from children.
  2. Wash your hands before preparing and handling food, and after you are done. 
  3. Thaw meat safely to reduce harmful bacteria growth. The three methods approved by the USDA are: thawing in the refrigerator over a long period of time, thawing under cold running water, and in the microwave on high.
  4. Don’t cross-contaminate food items. Keep vegetables separate from meats, and wash cutting boards and tools that have come in contact with raw meat as soon as possible.
  5. Keep your kitchen surfaces and tools clean. That includes sponges and drying rags! 
  6. Buy a fire extinguisher and keep it up-to-date.
  7. Learn how to put out different types of kitchen fires. 
  8. Tie back hair and loose clothing.
  9. Don’t leave your stove unattended while it is turned on. 
  10. Keep focused on the task at hand, even if you’ve used a kitchen tool for years. 

Of course, with each task in the kitchen there is a whole set of rules on how to keep safe. If you don’t know how to use a tool or how to cook something properly, look it up! Read all the instructions on appliances and tools, too. That way you’ll be able to cook delicious meals AND keep your family safe while you’re doing it!