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Getting Holiday Cooking Done Right: Avoiding Injury

Cooking is a big part of the holiday season, whether you are trying out new recipes printed in glossy magazines or are making tried-and-true family favorites. While the smells of cookies and other goodies baking is wonderful, cooking for the holidays does pose hazards, including burn injury hazards in your Homestead home as well as fire and food-borne illness dangers.

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To make your cooking delicious and safe, make sure to follow these safety tips:

1) Have working smoke detectors in your home.

Smoke detectors are essential to keep you and your family safe. Make sure the one in your kitchen works, so that if there is a fire you have the best chance of getting out safely.

2) Never leave cooking food unattended.

If you are hosting a holiday event or are trying to do a great deal around the house, it can be tempting to leave something warming on the stove or simply to pop something into the oven while you take care of guests or other duties in another room. Multitasking and cooking don’t mix, though. Always keep an eye on cooking food and if you are preparing several dishes, use kitchen timers to remind yourself when food may be done.

3) Have a fire extinguisher on hand when cooking.

The fire extinguisher in your kitchen should be able to deal with small grease and oven fires. It is the easiest way to douse flames. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher and a grease fire happens, use flour to smother the flames.

4) Use caution when deep frying.

Deep frying poses a burn hazard because of the heat of the grease. Deep-frying a turkey, especially, can be tasty but dangerous. If you are deep frying a large item such as a turkey, cook outside and well away from the house, trees, and any other flammable materials. If you are using a smaller deep-fryer in the house to fry smaller items, be sure to follow manufacturer instructions for using the deep fryer and never leave the appliance unattended while it is in use.

5) Keep the kitchen area clean.

Clean up any spills or any items that have been dropped promptly to prevent slip and fall and trip and fall accidents. If you are cooking meat, clean counters and other areas that have come into contact with raw meat as you cook to avoid cross-contamination. You don’t want to set down prepared food where raw meat has been as this can lead to food-borne illness.

6) Cook meats to high temperatures and store leftovers correctly.

Use a meat thermometer to ensure that meat is cooked all the way through. If foods need to be kept cold, store them on ice. If they need to be hot, serve them piping hot. Do not leave food out for long periods of time, as food can grow bacteria this way. Serve appetizers in small portions. If you are serving a meal buffet-style, leave food out only for a short period of time before wrapping it and storing it in the refrigerator.

Have you suffered an illness or injury after eating at a restaurant or event? You may be entitled to compensation under Florida law. To find out more, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case review.