5 tips for avoiding kitchen hazards

Food Network KitchensFebruary 5, 2013 

Here are five tips to help you safely navigate your way through common kitchen blunders:

1 A safer way to split bagels: Bagel-related injuries ranked No. 5 in a 2008 government study on finger cuts. To split a bagel safely, lay it flat on a work surface while pressing down with one hand to keep it steady with fingers splayed upward and out of harm’s reach. Hold a sharp serrated bread knife in your other hand and slice the bagel horizontally, keeping the knife parallel to the work surface.

2 Forgotten kitchen spills are a hazard: Who hasn’t dealt with a pot boiling over while a hot cooking liquid is sloshing out of the casserole that is being removed from the oven? Keep a stack of dishrags nearby and toss one over the danger zone for a visual reminder. Clean it up once order’s been restored.

3 Avoid dishwashing danger: Store sharp objects like kitchen shears, steak knives and metal skewers with the offending ends pointing downward in dishwasher utensil bins and on the countertop until they’re ready to be washed.

4 Stabilize your cutting board: Some kitchen surfaces don’t play nice with cutting boards set on top, resulting in a board that wobbles or slides around – never a good idea when working with a knife. Anchor your board to your counter with a damp paper towel or dishrag to keep things steady.

5 Beware the common chile pepper: Peppers’ natural oils can burn your fingers and anything else they come in contact with. (Woe is the person who rubs his or her eyes using unprotected hands!) Wear rubber gloves when working with hot peppers, or, in a pinch, coat your hands with vegetable oil before carefully chopping away.

Courtesy of Teri Tsang Barrett on foodnetwork.com

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