This is an obvious one, but the risk is still very real. It is estimated that two thirds of all domestic fires happen because of cooking, but they can be avoided. Remember to keep any flammable materials such as clothing or tea towels away from the cooker, and ensure any electrical cables are tucked safely away from the heat too. Make sure you keep the hob and grill clean, because the build up of fats and grease is also a fire risk.
Always be careful when using knives; keep your fingers away from the blade, concentrate on what you are doing, and when it comes to cleaning don’t put knives into a washing up bowl full of water and walk away in case you later reach in and cut yourself. If you use a dishwasher, be sure to keep the blade pointed down in the cutlery holder.
When you’re busy cooking it’s easy to reach for something and burn yourself, but burns can be very painful. Don’t reach into an oven to check on food or baking, always pull the oven shelf out instead, and don’t reach across a stove or cooker top if food is cooking. Make sure you use wooden spoons in hot pans too. Because metal ones will get hot and the handles can easily cause nasty burns.
Bacteria growing on food that is past its use by date is not always visible, but is still a risk if you try and eat it, and some bacteria can pass to other nearby foods and surfaces too. A great system is to rotate the food properly so that the freshest items are at the back and those that need to be used more quickly are within closer reach. If in doubt, throw it out, and make sure you keep your fridge shelves and door pockets clean with antibacterial spray or wash.
Raw meat can carry high levels of bacteria and should be handled carefully. Never wash raw meat, because there’s a risk of spreading any germs around by splashing the water. Your kitchen surfaces or chopping boards should be cleaned before and after preparing raw meat, as well the knives or utensils you use, and make sure you avoid cross-contamination by using different surfaces or utensils for different foods. When you store raw meat keep it wrapped to save any spread of bacteria, and to stop any juices from leaking onto other areas and foods.
When you’re chopping pungent foods like onions or chillies your eyes can easily be irritated, and it’s tempting to wipe or rub your eyes, but if your hands have been in contact with the food you will quickly irritate them even more! If you know you are sensitive to strong odours when preparing food keep a tissue close by and wash your hands before touching your face.
The cloths and sponges you use to do the washing u or wipe down your surfaces collect dirt and bacteria very quickly, and this can build up if they are used day after day. Ensure you clean or replace your sponges, scourers and cloths regularly to ensure you aren’t wiping germs around your kitchen without realising.
If you spill anything in your kitchen, make sure you clean it up straight away, and do not leave the area wet even after cleaning. A wet floor can create a slip hazard, and a fall risks serious injury.
With so much activity in the kitchen, it should be kept tidy and free from clutter. This could mean making sure there aren’t items stacked on the floor that could trip someone, but also goes for the cupboards too. Overloading a cupboard or just shoving things in could cause them to fall onto someone when they open the door, and items placed high on top of cupboards should always be pushed well back to avoid the risk of falling off unexpectedly.
When people have coughs and colds they often use their hands to shield the initial spread of germs, but if they aren’t washing those hands the germs can spread easily on surfaces or food packets. If you’re around someone who is unwell in the kitchen remind them to practice good hand hygiene and make sure you do the same.
We understand that hygiene is of prime importance in any kitchen, and offer a deep cleaning service to make sure all traces of grease and dirt are removed and the area is cleaned to the highest of standards. If you’d like to speak to one of our experts we’d be happy to offer specialist advice or book you an appointment.
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