Unbreakable Safety Rules In The Kitchen
December 15, 2021
When it comes to cooking, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Usually, you can learn how to cook simply by following online guides or listening to any family member who knows how to. However, cooking still comes with its own set of safety rules. Following these is key to keeping a safe and fun environment while you come up with the best dishes with no issue.
If you’re a cooking beginner, here are some kitchen safety tips and rules you need to follow.
Remember C.O.O.K. when it comes to kitchen safety
The main points you have to remember are in a simple acronym called C.O.O.K.:
Clean all surfaces, utensils, and food items beforehand - Cleanliness is an important aspect of cooking food, especially now with the pandemic in full swing. Always do proper handwashing and disinfection before and after cooking.
Observe proper handling - Do not allow a sick person to prepare/serve food for other people. Also, in handling food items, make sure you separate cooked and raw food at all times. Not doing so will lead to cross-contamination, especially with raw meat containing salmonella, E. Coli, and more. Do the same when handling them with utensils.
Observe the correct cooking time and temperature - Cooking food at a certain time at the right temperature kills these microbes, ensuring safe food. Blood traces in fried chicken is a common example of what happens when incorrect temperatures are used and when there’s inadequate time to cook. Ingesting such food is dangerous, especially to children. It’s best to cook food at proper temperatures and for a certain periods of time to avoid such incidents. Moreover, an essential rule you should remember in observing proper time and temperature is “Serve hot foods hot, and cold foods cold”.
Keep food in proper containers and storage - After cooking, it is recommended to serve and eat the food at once to maintain its quality and food safety. But during instances where you cook food too early or there are leftovers, it is recommended to keep your food in a proper container and storage. Cooked foods must not stay at room temperature for more than 4 hours, especially cream or tomato-based food since they are more susceptible to spoilage. Keep leftover food in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage as well. Do not cover hot foods at once since it can form steam and moisture, making it prone to microbes. Use clean containers when keeping food. And lastly, do proper reheating of leftover food (through a microwave or on a stove) to make sure that the food is safe to eat.
Remember the acronym above the next time you’re in the kitchen.
Know how to use basic cutlery
Aside from the pointers above, you also need to know the safest way to handle basic cutlery such as knives, whisks, chopping boards, etc. For example, holding a knife the wrong way makes you prone to cuts and other injuries.
When holding the knife, do not hold the knife by the blade or by the end of the handle. Do not hold it too loosely as well.
The proper way to hold knives is to put the blade in between the thumb and index finger, then wrap the rest of your hand tightly on the handle.
When chopping food, do not lay your hand flat on the chopping board. Make sure to hold the food with a claw grip and chop in a rocking motion to avoid injuries.
When cooking with kids, keep dangerous utensils out of reach
There’s nothing wrong with bringing kids into the kitchen, especially if they want to learn how to cook and bond with you at the same time. However, you must always keep them far from any sharp or dangerous utensils such as knives, can openers, etc. Let them do the safer cooking steps, such as mixing or dough shaping. Make sure they don’t run around playing with kitchen tools and injure themselves in the process.
Always focus on everything you do in the kitchen
Even though cooking can be pretty simple and fun, it’s important to always be alert. Being distracted can cause you to slip and possibly slice your fingers while chopping food, or worse. The blood from such injuries can also get into the food, making it unsafe to consume. While it’s nice to have fun in the kitchen as you learn how to cook, be mindful of what you’re doing at all times to minimize injuries and accidents.
Keep these kitchen safety tips in mind the next time you’re cooking up something delicious. Better to be safe than sorry to prevent any untoward incidents in the kitchen. And if you’re on the lookout for more safety pointers and cooking pointers in general, take our Ajinomoto virtual tour for a great learning experience!