Culinary Arts Safety Rules and Kitchen Behavior
The kitchen is a potentially dangerous place. With that being said, nearly all hazardous situations can be avoided if care is taken. By following this guide to safety, the majority of accidents can be avoided.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly prior to touching any food or equipment. Be sure to rewash hands after sneezing, touching anything that is dirty, using the restroom, etc.
- Keep your work area clean, and sanitize as needed.
- Long hair must be tied back during any lab portions of class.
- A clean apron is to be worn during all cooking labs and should be removed any time you leave the room or when using the restroom.
- All jewelry on hands or arms must be removed prior to cooking or handling any food.
- Any cuts, scratches, or burns need to be completely covered while working in the kitchen. If there is a bandage on your hand, it needs to be covered with a glove.
- “Tasting” of food is highly encouraged, but “tasting” should only be done with a clean spoon for each separate taste. There is a big difference between “tasting” and eating.
- Use the right tool for the right job. If you don’t know what the right tool is, ask the teacher.
- Know how to properly use and care for all equipment. Follow directions carefully. Again, if you are unsure of how to use equipment, ask the teacher.
- All equipment should be returned to its proper place when finished. Equipment must be clean and dry when it is put away.
- Many of the pieces of equipment we use are heavy. Be sure to use two hands when carrying any equipment. If you’re not sure you can carry something, ask for help from a classmate.
- When using electrical equipment, ensure that your hands are dry and that cords and equipment are away from sink area or other water source.
- When unplugging electrical equipment, use the plug. Do not remove plugs by pulling on the cord.
- Make sure equipment is unplugged prior to cleaning it.
- Clean up all spilled liquids, oil, and grease or food peelings immediately with paper towels. Spills create a dangerous slip and fall hazard. This is for your safety, my safety, and all of your classmate’s safety.
- Report and broken dishes or broken glass to the teacher, immediately. Carefully sweep up large pieces and splinters as thoroughly as possible.
- All utensils, knives, and other equipment should be clean and dry prior to being put away.
- Countertops, work surfaces, floors and sinks need to be left clean at the end of class.
- Wipe down bottles, jars, or other containers prior to putting back on the shelf or in the refrigerator.
- Cleaning is a team effort. Everyone should clean as you go. Don’t leave all the cleaning till the end of class.
Knives, Cutting, and Personal Safety:
- Always use a cutting board, with a non-slip mat under it, any time you are using a knife, no matter how small the job.
- Use proper technique when using a knife. This includes keeping your fingers clear of the blade, and always cutting away from you.
- When carrying a knife, always keep the point down and the knife at your side. Limit the amount of moving you do when you have a knife in your hand.
- When passing a knife or other sharp object, always pass with the handle towards the person receiving the object.
- If you drop a knife, don’t try to catch it. Get your feet out of the way, and let it hit the ground.
- Never put dirty knives or sharp objects into a sink full of water. These items are difficult to see and can be very hazardous if grabbed from the sink.
- Report any cuts, burns or any other injuries, no matter how small, to the teacher immediately.
- First course of action for a burn is to notify the teacher, then run it under cold water for 10 minutes. See the nurse if needed.
- Keep all drawers, cabinets, and doors closed at all times.
- Floor should be kept clear of book bags and other personal items. Place your belongings under the tables, with the chairs pushed all the way in.
Stovetop and Oven Use:
- Always use oven mitts when handling potentially hot pots, pans, or other equipment. Do not use a dish towel to pick up hot items. Dish towels can be wet, causing a steam burn or they can hang down into the flame.
- Place pot and pan handles away from the front of the stove, but not over another burner.
- When lifting a lid from a covered pot, tilt lid away from you. This will protect you from steam.
- Always use a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon to stir hot foods.
- Open ovens from the side. Slide shelf out to check food rather than reaching into the oven. Always use an oven mitt.
- Be sure to keep dish towels, papers, and flammable objects away from the stovetops.
- Know the locations of the fire extinguishers and how to use them.
- Remove heat source (turn off the flame).
- Notify teacher immediately.
- Attempt to smother with lid, cookie sheet, or flour.
- If none of this works, use a fire extinguisher.
- Never use water on a grease fire or stovetop fire.
Oven or Broiler Fire:
- Turn off the oven.
- Leave the door closed.
- Notify the teacher immediately.
General Class Conduct:
- There is no fooling around in the kitchen.
- Cell phones stay in your pockets or backpacks.
- Never sit on tables or countertops.
- Do not take food or supplies without asking.
- Participate in class. It’s the best way to learn.
- Show off to your family and friends what you learn and what you make.
- Enjoy yourselves. Cooking is fun and can bring you a lifetime of reward.