Home Safety and Hidden Dangers in the Kitchen

The kitchen has obvious dangers. Stovetops can cause burns. Sharp knives cut flesh easily. Overflowing cupboards cause numerous injuries from falling cookware. Children, obviously, should not be left unattended in the kitchen. Beyond these worries, however, are icebergs of hidden dangers moving secretly around your kitchen.

Food-borne illnesses are becoming more prevalent. They cause thousands of deaths and millions of illnesses each year, and these numbers are only increasing. Work surfaces should be kept free of clutter so they can be cleaned thoroughly and frequently. Anywhere that you prepare raw food is considered a work surface. Refrigerated foods are also vectors for bacteria. It is essential that you clean your refrigerator frequently and remove old food to prevent it contaminating fresh foods.

Cleanliness is paramount in kitchens to prevent infestation. Vermin and insects can cause a number of health problems. They drag their bodies across cooking surfaces and leave feces in many places. Consider natural cures instead of poison. Chemicals should be a last resort as they can contaminate cooking surfaces through the movement of the vermin you are trying to kill.

Some scientists are now warning against a substance called BPA (Bisphenol A). It is contained in polycarbonate plastics. The science on the danger of BPA is still coming in, but many are advocating caution. Some plastics are now being labeled BPA-free. Plastic numbers 3, 6, and 7 are more likely to contain BPA than 1, 2, 4, and 5. Plastics are numbered, usually on the bottom of containers. Avoid putting plastics in the microwave or dishwasher lest chemicals from them leech into food.

Taking precautions and being overly safe is less costly than long term care insurance or other measures necessary when someone comes down with a chronic condition or illness. Wash your hands frequently while cooking. Above all, keep your kitchen safe.

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