The kitchen is the heart of the home—especially during the holidays. As we head into the most wonderful time of year, our team wants to help keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe. Read on for some of our top cooking safety tips.
Fires and burns
Did you know Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires with Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked 2nd and 3rd? Burns are also more common this time of year. Here’s how to keep them both at bay:
- Test your smoke alarm(s). Make sure they’re working before you need them!
- Keep flammable items away from your stovetop. This includes oven mitts, potholders, dishtowels, and food packaging. Avoid wearing loose clothing, too (we’re looking at you, oversized sweaters).
- Don’t leave cooking unattended. Using the stove? Stay in the kitchen at all times and keep pot handles turned backwards. Using the oven? Set a timer and check it often.
- Keep the kitchen floor clear. The last thing you want to do is trip over toys, bags, or pets (sorry, Fido!).
- Be extra careful with fryers. Turkey fryers can easily tip over and overheat. The pot, lid, and handles can also get dangerously hot and cause burns. Place your fryer outside on a flat surface that can’t burn, like cement. Make sure it’s at least 10 feet away from anything that can catch fire, including your house or tree branches.
- Keep children away from hot surfaces. Keep kiddos at least 3 feet away from the stove, oven, fryer, hot plates, etc.. If they want to be in on the fun, ask them to measure ingredients, fold napkins, or help decorate the table.
- Be careful when handling hot liquids and foods. Steam, splashes, and serving dishes can cause serious burns. Remember to wear your oven mitts!
- Stay alert. If you’re tired or have been drinking, ask someone else to take over.
Cuts are, unfortunately, all-too-common during holiday meal prep. Here’s how to stay safe at the chopping block:
- Secure your cutting board. Pro tip: Invest in one with anti-slip feet.
- Always turn the blade away from your body. It’s basic, we know, but an important reminder nonetheless.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children. Only let kids prep foods that can be sliced with a butter knife. Otherwise, ask them to help with other festive to-dos.
- Unplug your electric knife in between uses. Also, make sure cords from the electric knife aren’t dangling.
- Store knives when they’re not in use. This removes clutter from your prep space and lowers the risk of an accident. Win-win.
Other helpful tips:
- Keep your kitchen crew small. More commotion means more accidents. Limit the number of people in the kitchen to 2-3 at any given time.
- Know proper cooking temperatures. Meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs can carry germs that cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to make sure these foods have been cooked to their safe internal temperature. Check out this helpful food temperature chart.
- While most cases of food poisoning end naturally within a few days or weeks, some require medical care. If so, we’re here to help.
- Slow down. The holidays can be, well, distracting. When cooking, avoid multitasking and take your time. You’re making memories after all!
We hope you don’t need us this holiday season, but we’re always here if you do. We’re open every day from 8am-8pm, including Thanksgiving day. Happy cooking—and happy holidays!