Safety 1st!

Before we let any student get their grubby little hands on our kitchen equipment, we…well, teach them why their hands shouldn’t be grubby!  The last 2 weeks I have said the words, “Trichinosis” and “Staphylococcus” more times than I can remember (the kiddos love it when you say big funny words).

As Home Cooks, there are a few essentials that we all need to remember.  We get into the groove of how our own kitchens run, and we can sometimes overlook dangerous violations of safety and sanitation.  So, as a reminder to keep our families and  friendly patrons safe, here are few friendly reminders from my lesson plans this week. 

1. NEVER thaw meat in a warm water bath.  OK, I admit I am guilty of this one when dinner needs to be made in a pinch.  But, bacteria breed like bunnies between the temperatures of 41*-135*, and putting frozen chicken in a sink full of warm water for an hour is just asking for it.

2. NEVER leave food at room temperature for more than 2 hours.  This is an important rule to remember with the holidays coming up.  The same principle of the “Danger Zone” as mentioned in #1 applies.  Only, after 2 hours the bacteria have grown SO MUCH that it can be almost impossible to get rid of them, even after re-heating.  Don’t let grandpa talk you into taking a nap in front of the TV after lunch, get your booty in the kitchen and pack up that turkey!

3. NEVER throw water on a grease fire.  Don’t tell me you’ve never had a little grease fire before!  And if you haven’t, you will!  I’m astonished by the number of students who look at me like I’m nuts when I tell them not to throw water on it.  Scary.  Basically, water and oil don’t mix and dousing water on the fire will throw the flaming grease all over the kitchen. Bad news.  Suffocate the flames with a lid or cookie sheet, then throw on Baking Soda.  Not salt, not flour…Baking Soda.  If you want to ruin your pans and cook top, try the salt or flour.

Happy & Safe Cooking!

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September 15, 2011. I love my job!.

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