“Kitchen Safety: Tips while Cooking for Christmas”

Ham, Turkey, Roast Pork, Roast Beef, Pastelles! Is your mouth watering yet? Mine sure is! We all love these popular dishes and this Christmas you may find yourself in the kitchen for hours on end whipping up a few for your family and loved ones. Whether it’s cooking for your significant other or throwing a feast for your entire family, Guardian Group is here to give you some crucial tips to keep you safe while cooking for the season!

1. Slice away from your hand and keep your fingers clear of the blade!
Using a knife is essential to the cooking process, whether it’s to slice carrots or to slice ham. However, without careful use, you may end up with a nasty cut. We recommend slicing away from your hand and keeping your fingers clear of the blade (finger tips folder and facing downwards).  This method helps to prevent accidental cuts if your knife slips.

2. Be careful when cooking with oil.
Oils possess something called a “smoking point”, that is, the temperature at which the oil begins to continuously smoke and becomes very easily combustible. It is important to note that different oils have different smoking points, and may combust at various temperatures. Some oils possess a high smoking point and others may be low. Therefore, it is crucial to know what oils you should use when cooking at high, medium or low heat.

3. Use oven mitts and potholders when handling hot utensils.
You may think if you lift and move hot utensils quick enough that you may avoid being burnt but this is dangerous practice that can lead to severe burns. ALWAYS use oven mitts and potholders when handling hot utensils to keep your hands protected.

4. Disinfect all cutting utensils, surfaces and chopping boards before and after usage.
Always disinfect all cutting utensils, surfaces and chopping boards before and after usage. Utensils, surfaces and chopping boards harbour dangerous bacteria that may contaminate ingredients during food preparation, leading to illness. Bleach diluted in water and anti-bacterial wipes work well to accomplish this task.

5. Do not cook defrosted raw meat that has been out for hours.
Keep a careful check on meat that is defrosting. After being defrosted, raw meat starts decomposing, and even more quickly if left outside at room temperate or higher. Once this process has started, the bacteria in the meat starts multiplying and that could cause severe food poisoning or worse in those who eat it, even after it has been cooked.

We hope these kitchen tips make your Christmas cook safer and more enjoyable this year. 

Seasons Greetings and Happy Cooking! 

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