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August 1998 Issue
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Safety and Health Tools

No kitchen is complete without some tools for preventing accidents or illness and a first-said kit should one occur. Now, a first-aid kit doesn't necessarily need to be right in the kitchen. However, everyone should be aware of where it is located and the location should be easy to reach in an emergency. If this isn't the case, make it so. Safety should never be overlooked.

One of the simplest weapons against illness is soap. Make sure you have hand soap in the kitchen. A friend assured me that she had plenty of hand soap in a nearby bathroom. I asked her how often she took the time to make the trip to the bathroom to use it when cooking. Her answer? "Ummm..." Keeping a small dispenser of anti-bacterial hand soap by the kitchen sink helps remind you and makes it easier to wash your hands before preparing food, when switching from handling one food product to another, and when you've finished.

Also, have your dish soap handy. If you cut raw meat on a cutting board, clean it thoroughly before using it again. This is a rule that should never be broken. More people experience food poisoning as a result of breaking this rule than you can imagine. It's simple, really. When you're in the kitchen, don't cut corners when it comes to safety and cleanliness. It really is a life or death decision.

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