- Some common kitchen habits and hacks may be more dangerous than you think.
Slicing food in your hand instead of on a cutting board can be quite dangerous.
- Be careful when handling steaming pots and dishes as steam can cause painful burns.
With its heated appliances and sharp utensils, kitchens can be a dangerous place to make a mistake. In some cases, you may not even realize that what you’re doing while you cook could be putting your own health in danger or the safety of others at risk.
Here are a few things you might be doing in your kitchen that could be dangerous.
When using a mandoline, it’s important to use a handguard to help keep your fingers safe
Mandolines, utensils used for thinly and evenly slicing vegetables, have incredibly sharp blades. Because of this, they oftentimes come with handguards, small tools that are used to keep your hand separated from whatever you’re slicing.
Although it seems harmless to just hold the veggie you’re slicing with your fingers, using a handguard can help you to protect your digits from being cut by the mandoline’s blade.
Although it seems convenient, slicing any food in your hand instead of on a cutting board can be quite dangerous
When you’re in a rush or don’t feel like washing extra dishes, using your hand as a makeshift cutting board can seem tempting. But it can be easy for the knife to slip, which can result in a painful cut to the palm of your hand.
Storing loose knives in drawers can be dangerous for you and damaging to your knives
If you store your knives this way, there’s a pretty good chance someone could accidentally get cut on the utensils’ blades the next time they’re rummaging through that drawer.
This storing method is also not great for the durability of your knives. As the utensils hit against other items in the drawer, their blades can become nicked and dull. Instead, try storing your knives in a knife block or on a special magnetic wall strip.
It may seem counterintuitive, but using dull knives can actually be more dangerous than using sharp ones
When using a dull knife, you typically use more pressure to cut food in order to compensate for the not-so-sharp blade. But when you apply more pressure, you also greatly increase the likelihood that the knife might slip, potentially causing the utensil’s blade to cut your hand or fingers, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.
If you notice your favorite knives are beginning to become dull, you may want to try sharpening them or consider replacing them.
Consuming uncooked recipes that contain flour and eggs can put you at risk of contracting a food-borne illness
Although it can be tempting to taste your cookie dough or cake batter before popping it in the oven, sampling these uncooked goods can potentially make you ill, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
It mostly has to do with the ingredients these dishes typically contain. According to the CDC, raw eggs that have not been pasteurized and flour that has not been cooked can both contain salmonella or other bacteria that can cause serious (and sometimes fatal) illnesses.
Although it seems harmless, steam can cause painful burns
To keep yourself safe, be cautious when removing the lid of a boiling pot or steaming container, stand to the side when opening a container or appliance that you anticipate will release steam, and avoid putting your arms, hands, and face directly over any appliance or pot that is steaming.
Read More: 13 things you should never microwave
Washing meat and poultry could actually cause more harm than good
According to the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, washing meat and poultry can actually spread harmful bacteria around your kitchen, including in your sink and on your countertops. This bacteria could potentially cause food poisoning or other illnesses in any person that comes into contact with it.
When sanitizing your kitchen with bleach, be sure you’re properly diluting it in order to avoid potentially poisoning yourself and others
Bleach is commonly used as a sanitizer in both household and professional kitchens. But if bleach is not properly diluted or thoroughly rinsed off of surfaces, the fumes from or ingestion of bleach can cause serious and immediate health problems.
To safely use household bleach as a sanitizing agent for your kitchen, follow the proper dilution rate, which is no more than a tablespoon of bleach (half of one fluid ounce or 15 milliliters) to one gallon of water, according to current USDA guidelines.
If you think someone may be experiencing chlorine poisoning as the result of dangerous exposure to bleach, you may want to seek immediate medical attention.