The danger zone refers to the temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F. This is the temperature range in which harmful bacteria multiply the fastest. If perishable foods stay in the danger zone too long, the food will spoil, meaning there will be no way to kill off the bacteria present in order to make the food safe for consumption.
Always wash hands before cooking and after handling raw meat, eggs, or poultry. This is a great time to teach your kids about food safety! Never use the same knife, plate or utensil on raw and cooked food, and use one cutting board for meat and another for vegetables. Use a clean spoon or fork each time you taste a dish, and never stick your fingers in food you’ll be serving to others.
When cooking on the stove top, turn all pot and pan handles toward the back of the stove to help prevent a child’s arm or head from knocking it over.
Wear aprons, roll up sleeves and tie hair back to reduce messes, spills and the risk of fire.
Keep a sturdy stool nearby so your child can easy reach counters.
Keep oven mitts or hot pads handy at all times. A handle that feels lukewarm to you may be too hot for a youngster.
If somebody does get burned, run it under cold water immediately. Do not place butter or oil on a burn. Consult a doctor if you are uncertain about the severity of the injury.
Don’t assume your children know how to operate kitchen appliances and utensils. When they’re first learning to use can openers, vegetable peelers, and eventually blenders or mixers, make sure to walk through safe tool use step-by-step.
Teaching proper cutting skills is important. Begin with a plastic knife and show kids how to cut away from their bodies.
Keep your knives sharp. But be sure to keep them out of reach of children, unless they are properly trained. Dull knives can slip while you’re cutting. Also, you’re more apt to be careful with sharp knives.
Slice away from your hand and keep your fingers clear of the blade. Slicing away from your hand prevents an accidental cut if the knife slips.
Don’t ever use the palm of your hand as a cutting board. That’s just inviting the knife to slice into your hand!
When mincing, keep the tip of your knife on the cutting board and pump the handle up and down quickly. However, because that knife is moving fast, be extra careful about your fingers.
Curl your fingers under and hold the food with your fingertips when chopping. Better to ding a knuckle than slice a fingertip!
Use caution with steak knives. They’re sharp enough to cut meat, which means they’re sharp enough to cut you.
Don’t lick knives!
Secure your cutting board. If it doesn’t have rubber feet to help grip the counter, put a damp towel under the board when cutting.