Follow the Recipe for Kitchen Safety!

[This story was submitted by the St. Peter’s Health Partners Emergency Services Team.]

Did you know it matters what you wear in the kitchen? The wrong fashion choice could actually be dangerous!

Long/loose sleeves can catch on fire around an open flame or dip into boiling water that could burn your skin (not to mention ruining a great shirt by dragging the sleeves over the spaghetti sauce). Instead, choose either a shirt with tighter-fitting or shorter sleeves. And don’t forget to protect your feet! Bare feet can be injured by a dropped knife, splashing hot liquids, or shards of broken glass. It’s best to wear nonslip shoes that cover your foot.

Some other kitchen tips that can help you avoid a trip to urgent care or the ED:

  • Be sure to wear protective hand mitts when handling pot/pan handles. They can get extremely hot and cause serious burns/blisters with skin contact, even in just a split second.
  • Face pot/pan handles toward the back of the stove so boiling pots of water or pans of grease don’t get spilled on you, or pulled off the stove by children.
  • Wipe up any spills on the floor right away so you/the next person walking into the kitchen doesn’t slip. Don’t forget those pesky ice cubes that keep falling after you pull your glass away from the ice machine. They will melt into puddles that can cause accidents.
  • Close cabinet doors so no one walks into them and injures their face, head, or eyes.
  • Store cleaners and flammable things away from heat sources and out of reach of young children who could accidentally drink them.
  • Especially when preparing meats, cook them to appropriate temperatures recommended by the Food and Drug Association, keep counter surfaces clean, wash your hands often, and avoid cross contamination to help avoid salmonella and other foodborne illnesses.
  • Be prepared for a grease fire. NEVER put water on these fires … they will burn even hotter and erupt, exposing you to major burns. Turn off the heat source immediately. Very small stove fires can be covered with a metal lid or doused with baking soda. Have a fire extinguisher on hand as well.
  • Even Fido can be a kitchen hazard. Keep pets out of the kitchen when you are cooking because they are very easy to trip over.

If you suffer an injury, make sure you know what to do. The general rule of thumb is:

  • If you have a life/limb-threatening injury, call 9-1-1 or get to your local ED immediately.
  • If you have a moderate injury that is not life-threatening, but needs attention, call your primary care physician’s office for advice or visit an urgent care if your provider’s office is closed and does not offer after-hours appointments or callbacks.
  • If you have a minor injury that is uncomfortable or needs follow-up, contact your PCP at your soonest opportunity.

We hope these tips provide a perfect recipe for safety in your kitchen, and help you avoid a trip to the ED during your next dinner party. Bon Appetit!

When every second counts, St. Peter’s Health Partners has top-quality emergency departments and urgent care centers all across the Capital Region. Our emergency departments in Albany and Troy are open 24 hours, seven days a week, offering a wide range of services for emergency care with highly trained staff, diagnostic testing and access to specialists.

For more information, visit us at

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