For official information on the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa, go to

Kitchen Safety Tips - We all need them

By Linda Jackson on 18 September 2016


The kitchen is a dangerous place. Now while this is not an excuse for not feeding you family, we should consider the hazards you face daily.

Common Kitchen Hazards

  • Electrical and grease fires
  • Scalding from boiling kettles
  • Preparing food safely to avoid spread of illness
  • Handling hot items such as pans, casseroles
  • Electrical safety with appliances
  • Handling sharp objects safely

A part of good kitchen organization is planning and preparing for kitchen safety. So have a look at these tips.

20 Basic Kitchen Safety Tips

  1. Make sure all wires, cords and plugs on your appliances are not frayed and that the plugs have 3-prong grounded connections. This would include coffee makers, toasters, blenders, microwaves, mixers, etc.
  2. Don’t use extension cords. You can obtain a junction box that has built-in GFI (ground fault interrupters). This will allow you extra plug in space and the GFI will kick in if there is a power shortage. Helps avoid water/electrical shock accidents.
  3. Get rid of any appliance that is broken or damaged.
  4. Put a childproof lock not only on the cabinets with your medicines and cleaning supplies, but also your oven.
  5. Don’t leave the kitchen with pots & pans cooking on the stove. Make sure to turn off burners as soon as you take the pot off.
  6. Avoid wearing inappropriate clothing while cooking. That means loose sleeves and sweaters.
  7. Keep dish towels, pot holders and oven mitts away from the stove.
  8. Keep matches and lighters in high places where curious little hands can’t reach them.
  9. If using candles in the kitchen, don’t leave the room (or home) while they’re burning. Make sure they are in a safe place and are in flame proof containers.
  10. Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen, but not near the stove.
  11. Scalding is one of the most common injuries in the kitchen. Make sure to turn pot handles away from the front of the stove and away from little curious hands. Scalding can occur from hot steam as well. Be careful when lifting lids from hot food (including opening that hot bag of microwave popcorn)!
  12. Handling Knives: (a) Always cut away from your body when using a knife. It can slip and cut you, (b) Always use a cutting board, (c) Protect your counter tops, (d) Keep blades sharp, (e) Keep knives clean (including handle) – slippery handles can cause injuries, (f) Don’t put knives in a sink of soapy water – they may not be seen and accidents can occur, (g) Wash and dry carefully keeping sharp edge away from your hands, (h) Always lay them flat, never on the back or edge, (i) Don’t attempt to catch a knife as it falls – better it hits the floor than cut your hand, (j) Wash knives with warm soapy water after each use.
  13. Be sure appliances are unplugged before touching sharp edges (blenders, can openers, mixers, etc.).
  14. Never stick a fork in a toaster to retrieve trapped toast – you may get shocking results.
  15. Always be sure the blender is unplugged before touching the blades.
  16. Be careful about sharp edges: scissors, broken glass, potato peeler, etc.
  17. Casualness causes casualties – don’t answer or talk on the phone while cooking – you can be distracted and injuries can result.
  18. Clean up spills immediately – wet floors are slippery when wet. Keep the kitchen floor clear or toys and other items.
  19. Always use a step-stool to reach high places.
  20. Store cleaning supplies and all chemicals in a safe place. Use safety latches.


Now we apply the same controls in the workplace. Health and safety isn’t difficult – it just takes discipline.