Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

The holidays are a great time to safely connect with family and enjoy delicious, home-cooked food. However, it is important to keep in mind how to cook safely in order to avoid any injuries or emergency room visits.

One of the most common causes of kitchen injuries is burns, which can be caused by picking up a hot pan or dish without using an oven mitt. Burns can also be caused by spilling hot oil when frying food or spilling hot water when boiling food. Be sure to use protective tools when cooking to avoid these types of accidents. Also, when cooking over a stove or any open flame, make sure to never wear loosely fitting clothes. Loose sleeves, shirttails, sashes, can get caught over the flame and cause a fire to break out.

When cooking, be careful not to cut yourself when chopping up vegetables or other food items. Believe it or not, it is actually safer to use a sharp knife rather than a dull knife when cutting. A sharp knife is easier to use in a cutting motion and will allow the user more control. A sharp knife will also avoid the need for using excessive force when cutting, a practice that can lead to loss of control and cause injuries. Always remember to never cut towards your body, but to cut away from your body.

Watch out for slipping in the kitchen as well. It is good practice to keep a kitchen mat under the sink to soak up excess water that may spill over the edge. Water from a pot boiling over on the stove can also lead to a spill. Make sure not to cook barefoot, just in case hot oil spills while cooking or sharp food remains or objects fall to the floor.

Be mindful of food allergies. Make sure that allergy information is shared. Many foods contain tree nuts, shellfish, wheat, and soy, which are common allergens in adults. It is a good idea to place a placard with allergy information on trays to be transparent about ingredients.

Overall, it is a good idea for every household to own a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, fire detector, and carbon monoxide detector during any time of the year. A first aid kit should contain different sized bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, and antiseptic cleaning wipes to clean wounds.

Stay safe and enjoy the holidays!

Jessica Dennehy, Trauma Injury Prevention Coordinator

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.