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Although cooking is fun, safety in the kitchen should always be your first priority. Think of the dangers lurking there; knives! fire! bacteria! Observing basic rules of kitchen safety should be ingrained in you as a good habit. Always be focused on what you're doing in the kitchen, because any carelessness can cause accidents resulting in serious injury.

Some thumb rules which should be de rigueur in the kitchen:
· Always store knives in a wooden block or a drawer, to keep them out of reach of children.
· Always wear an apron, never cook in loose clothes. And tie up your long hair so it doesn’t accidentally catch fire, or end up in the food!
· Never wear dangling jewelry, it could get tangled around pot handles.
· Always keep potholders (pakkad) handy and never leave them near an open flame.
· Always place pot handles away from front of the stove, so that children can't grab them, and adults can't bump into them.
· Never keep temperature-sensitive foods out in the open. Raw meat, fish, and certain dairy products can spoil quickly, so store them in the fridge right away.
· Wipe up spills on the floor immediately to avoid stains and to ensure no one slips on them.
· Always store raw meat and poultry separately from other items, to avoid cross-contamination of harmful bacteria from one food to another.
· Always wash your hands before handling food, they are a sure source of bacteria.
· Always keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen to ensure fire safety. And make sure you have atleast one fire drill so you prepared if a fire breaks out. And make time to read the directions before installing it.

By: Jude Michael Raj
General Manager - HSE, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure India Pvt Ltd.

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