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PLAYING IT SAFE IN THE KITCHEN

Injuries while cooking can happen to the best of chefs. So make sure to put the right plaster on your next shopping list. With cooking having become more and more of a trend, more people are headed for the kitchen – male and female alike. With exotic cuisines and matching new tools, from wok to sushi knives, kitchens are turning into injury hotspots. A cut, abrasion or burn can easily happen. Hansaplast, experts in wound healing, help you with some handy tips – and prepare for hazardous moments. And if an accident does happen, trust us for the right wound dressing up to the demands of even the most professional of chefs.

SAFETY TIPS IN THE KITCHEN

Of course cooking is mostly fun. But every cook, errs, bungles, botches, and screws up in the kitchen once in a while. Your rice may turn gummy, you don’t get the pan hot enough before you add the food, or your caramel turns bitter...a creative cook can cook her way out of almost any kitchen blunder. Real drama only strikes when an accident happens and you need to get the food on the table. That’s why the smart cook works in an organised environment and makes sure safety comes first.
There are a few ways to be smarter every time.
Here are some helpful tips ...

Handling knives and preparing food

SAFETY TIPS IN THE KITCHEN

1. Invest in good quality tools

This is the secret of any good chef. Tools should be up to top standard, anything that does not function properly or knives that are dull should not have a place in your kitchen.

Cutting edge 2. Cutting edge

Always make sure to keep your knives sharp: sharper blades cut better and don’t cause injuries as often. Sharpen them on a regular basis and hone in between sharpening. Dull knives are dangerous and actually make cutting much more difficult. Of course you know that you should always cut away from your body when using a knife: It can slip and cut you.

Wet paper towel for a better grip

3. Wet paper towel for a better grip

Not only are cutting boards that slide on the counter annoying, they’re extremely dangerous when you’re holding a knife and trying to chop something. Wet a paper towel and lay it under the board and it won’t budge, even with harder-to-tackle things such as pumpkin!

Make it flat

4. Make it flat

A good trick is to always cut the ends off onions, tomatoes, melons etc. (any food that does not stay stable on the cutting board) to give them a flat surface. This allows you to have complete control of the item as you chop.

The golden chef’s rule: Mise en place This is the most important tip of all in the kitchen, and every professional chef sticks to it. “Mise en place” is French for “everything in place”. What it means? Always know where your required tools and ingredients are. And before you start cooking, be organised and have everything at hand: all your ingredients measured, peeled, chopped, pots out, pans greased, tools handy, spices and herbs within reach. This will keep you from getting confused and running around looking for the ginger grater or strainer while your meat is already about to burn in the pan.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST – SOME MORE TIPS FOR HOBBY CHEFS:

1. Tongs as an extension of your hand

A set of tongs can be found in almost every cook’s hand in professional kitchens – usually gripped low down on the handle for maximum control. It will protect your fingertips from injury, and will give you maximum grip when flipping meat, pulling a pan out of the oven, stabilise a steak while slicing, etc.

2. Handle with care!

Make sure to turn pot handles away from the front of the stove. Burns from scalding are of the most common injuries in the kitchen.

3. Don’t play peek-a-boo!

Scalding can occur from hot steam as well. Be careful when lifting lids from hot food. Protect hands with oven mittens or a towel.

4. Towel to go

Another professional chef’s tip: Always have a towel either slung over your shoulder or tucked into your apron. This way you can have it handy to hold the lids when draining pots of boiling water, wipe your hands when wet --- the list goes on and on.