Here a few kitchen safety notes, read through once and remember! You can then enjoy cooking for all the family, and not worry about common mishaps. Plant-based cooking has simpler rules, as you don’t have to worry about separate chopping boards etc for meat or fish. See below for info on safe cooking near pets.
- Avoid choking hazards to young children and people with swallowing difficulties (nuts, seeds, gloopy nut/seed butters, chia seeds etc). Learn first aid, and cut carrot sticks/veggie hot dogs lengthwise and again.
- Some medicines interact with food. Check paper inserts to see if you need to avoid grapefruit or excessive green veggies etc.
- Keep food at correct temperatures, and thaw in fridge thoroughly (don’t keep foods like rice more than a couple of days, to avoid food poisoning). Store cantaloupe melon like meat (away from other foods, due to bacteria).
- Choose good quality sharp knives and sharpen regularly, stored with covers. Never try to catch a falling knife! Wear shoes.
- Tie loose hair back, turn pan handles inwards and avoid cooking with floaty sleeves. Keep a small kitchen fire extinguisher nearby.
- Don’t place hot glass dishes etc on cold or wet surfaces.
Safe Cooking Near Pets
If you live with furry friends, see this book to keep your dog safe, with lots of kitchen safety tips. (see Can I Give My Dog? & better pet food). Many ‘vegan’ foods should not be given to any pets (vegan meats and cheeses – due to toxic ingredients like onion, garlic, mushrooms, jackfruit, macadamia nuts). Toxic foods include:
- Alliums (garlic, onion, scallions, leeks, chives, shallots)
- Grapes & Raisins
- Nuts (esp. macadamia nuts)
- Raw Salmon
- Raw Yeast Dough
- Xylitol (sweetener)
- Many mushrooms & raw/green potatoes are toxic
Proceed with Caution
- Fatty Foods
- Fruit Pits & Seeds
- Tomatoes (green tomatoes esp. are toxic)
Bird Dangers in Kitchens
Birds in cages are usually miserable, an aviary or parrot sanctuary is better (they fly 30 days in the wild). Dangers for birds in/near kitchens include ceiling fans and Teflon pans. But although GreenPan ceramic cookware is better, no cookware is safe near pets. If you live with them, Pet Coach has a post on the many dangers to birds, including hairdryers and pencil lead.