It is important that there should be safety in work as a part of good kitchen management. A housewife should be alert to hazards in the kitchen and the use of safety measures to prevent accidents there. As most housewives spend a lot of time in the kitchen, it becomes natural for children of all ages to be there. Therefore, it should be a safe place for the people working in it as well as for others who come. The following are some steps to be taken to ensure safety in the kitchen:
1. The Kitchen Floor
The Kitchen Floor should be dry, free from grease, skins of fruits and vegetables as otherwise there is a chance of slipping causing a fall.
All sharp instruments such as can openers, knives and graters should be stored in a drawer. After cleaning they must be put away safely. Wooden boards should be used for cutting vegetables and fruits to avoid bruising of fingers. Strong footstools should be used to remove articles from top shelves. Pressure cookers should be used as per the manufacturer’s directions. A cover on pans when pouring out hot liquids prevents scalding.
3. The Stove
It is essential to know the technique of operating the stove safely whether the fuel used is wood, coal, kerosene, gas or electricity. When wood is used, a chimney should draw away the smoke and soot. In the case of coal stoves (chulhas) it should be lighted in the open air to prevent poisonous carbon monoxide being produced inside the kitchen.
In the case of kerosene stoves, the burner should be hot before it is pumped. In a wick stove, the wick should be well soaked in kerosene to prevent sooty flames arising. When gas is used the valve on the cylinder should be closed when not in use. A gas stove should be lit when the gas is turned on full. If the burner does not ignite with a lighted matchstick, turn it off at once. Wait for a minute and repeat once again. A void looking into an oven when lighting it.
When cooking, it is dangerous to wear synthetic garments or bangles of inflammable material like lac. Handles of pots and pans should be turned backwards to prevent of pots and pans should be turned back wards to prevent brushing against them or their getting caught in the clothing.
5. Labelling of Containers
It is important to label containers as a safety measure against wrong usage. Containers containing harmful chemicals such as insecticides and pesticides should be of different shapes and colours. They should be easily distinguished from those containing food items. Moreover, they should be kept in a separate cupboard out of reach from children and never in the food store. A knowledge of safety measures helps one to guard against various hazards in everyday life. It not only ensures personal safety but is also a social responsibility.