Almost everyone knows somebody who’s been injured in the kitchen, and some might even be carrying around a scar of their own from an unfortunate cooking mishap. And, while almost all of these could arguably fall into the “well duh” category of injuries that should have easily been avoided, common sense doesn’t always prevail. When you’re scrambling around the kitchen trying to prepare a meal sometimes accidents happen. So, here are five of the most common cooking injuries and what you can do in order to avoid becoming another statistic.
5) Burning Yourself While Removing Something From the Oven
Maybe the most dunderheaded of all cooking accidents, this typically happens after the item has already been removed from the oven and is still scalding hot but now sitting innocuously on the counter. While there’s really no reason any sensible person would touch something that’s hovering around a couple hundred degrees, chances are, pretty much everyone has done it anyway. From carelessly brushing the side of the oven while putting something in, to foolishly trying to move a pan that’s just been taken out of the oven, there are few things that give you an embarrassed, “I can’t believe I just did that” reaction like burning yourself while cooking.
|Potholders are your friend.|
How to prevent it: Be aware of when the oven door is open and always use potholders when removing items. Also, just because you took something out and let it sit for 30-seconds doesn’t mean it had ample time to cool. Basically, don’t be stupid.
4) Starting a Fire While Deep Frying a Turkey
Literally tens of homes burn down each year from the misuse of turkey fryers. And, while it might not be as universal as burning yourself on something hot, the sheer magnitude of a flaming butterball nightmare igniting someone’s home makes it well worth noting. There is no other cooking accident that manages to get a prime time news feature almost every Thanksgiving, as anchormen across the country sternly warn viewers about the very real dangers of deep fried turkey mishaps. It should also be noted that aside from burnt popcorn false alarms, this has got to be one of the most irritating cooking mishaps the fire department has to deal with.
|Hazmat Team puts the kibosh on Thanksgiving.|
How to prevent it: Always fry outdoors and on a flat surface. Be sure not to overfill the fryer with oil, and keep an eye on the fryer at all times. Also, make sure the turkey is completely thawed before placing it in the fryer. Basically, don’t be stupid.
3) Slipping on Something in the Kitchen
The floor of a kitchen can be full of hazards, and way too many people end up slipping and falling. Of all the possible ways to injure yourself while cooking, slipping on something you just spilled is easily the most embarrassing. One can only imagine the majority of these accidents go unreported, since there aren’t a lot of people anxious to brag about their own stupidity. However, between all the oils, liquids, and even flour that gets tossed around in the average kitchen there’s plenty of ways to create your own little skating rink…skating rink of death.
|Don’t let a small spill bring you crashing down.|
How to prevent it: Keep your floors clean and immediately wipe up any spills before they can become an issue. Basically, don’t be stupid.
2) Spilling Boiling Water
Another seemingly avoidable accident that typically comes about from just not paying close attention to what’s going on. Knocking over a pot of boiling water (or a similar hot item) is a great way to immediately ruin even the best of days. Sometimes it’s the result of a handle that was left askew, and other times it’s a misplaced elbow bumping into something it shouldn’t have. Either way, spilling hot water on yourself is a clumsy accident that can do a huge amount of damage.
|Scald me once, shame on me.|
How to prevent it: Don’t allow pot handles to extend over the counter and always be aware of what you’re doing. Basically, don’t be stupid.
1) Cutting Yourself While Halving a Bagel
Cutting yourself while attempting to slice a bagel claims more fingers and palms than any other food item. Although injuring yourself while cutting a bagel is considered the most common cooking injury, there’s little more than anecdotal evidence to back this up. However, as someone who has witnessed first hand the dangers of neglecting proper bagel safety I can confidently say the combination of a razor sharp bread knife, a poorly gripped bagel, and an awkwardly crooked cutting angle can lead to a bummer of a trip to the emergency room.
|Thumbs up for bagel safety!|
How to prevent it: Place the bagel horizontal on a flat surface with your hand on top of the bagel and cut parallel to the counter. Basically, don’t be stupid.
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