Safety in the Kitchen: 5 Common Kitchen Accidents and How to Avoid Them

The best way to avoid an accident is to be smart, stay calm and think through a situation. Sometimes that's easier said than done, so here are a few tips to help you safely navigate your way through common kitchen blunders.
Whole Grain Bagel with Knife

Whole Grain Bagel with Knife

One Whole Grain Bagel on a White plate, isolated on white background. The Bagel is half cut with a knife that has a black handle. Saved with clipping path.

Photo by: Heymo Vehse ©Heymo Vehse

Heymo Vehse, Heymo Vehse

One Whole Grain Bagel on a White plate, isolated on white background. The Bagel is half cut with a knife that has a black handle. Saved with clipping path.

1. Splitting bagels can be dangerous to your hand.

BRIs (yes, the actual medical acronym for bagel-related injuries) ranked #5 in a 2008 government study on finger cuts. Put an end to the pain by splitting a bagel the safe way: Lay it flat on a work surface while pressing down with one hand to keep it steady with fingers splayed upward and out of harm's reach. Hold a sharp serrated bread knife in your other hand and slice the bagel horizontally, keeping the knife parallel to the work surface. Your hand will thank you.

2. Forgotten kitchen spills are a hazard.

The easy solution is to wipe up any kitchen spills immediately after they happen. But who hasn't dealt with a pot boiling over while a hot cooking liquid is sloshing out of the casserole that is being removed from the oven? Keep a stack of dishrags nearby and toss one over the danger zone as a visual reminder — and clean it up once order's been restored.

3. Washing dishes can result in nicks. 

Store sharp objects, like kitchen shears, steak knives and metal skewers with the offending ends pointing downward in dishwasher utensil bins and on the countertop — in plain sight — until they're ready to be washed. Plug too-big grates with a kitchen sponge that's been trimmed down to size to keep objects from poking through.

4. Unstable Cutting Boards are Asking for Mistaken Cuts

Some kitchen surfaces don't play nice with cutting boards set on top, resulting in a board that wobbles or slides around — never a good idea when working with a knife. Anchor your board to your counter with a damp paper towel or dishrag to keep things steady and safe.

5. Skin Contact With Chile Peppers Can Cause Discomfort

Chopping and handling chile peppers can result in their natural oils burning your fingers and anything they come in contact with. (Woe is the person who rubs his or her eyes using unprotected hands!) Wear a pair of rubber gloves when working with hot peppers or, in a pinch, coat your hands with vegetable oil before carefully chopping away. Immediately wash your hands afterward with soap and water. If you feel the sting coming on, dip your hands in a dairy product like milk or yogurt, or rinse them with lemon juice.

Remember these tips when making:

Homemade Bagel Chips With Creamy Garlic Vegetable Spread

Rachael's Arroz Con Pollo

Jalapeno Poppers

Keep Reading

Next Up

5 Kitchen Tips You'll Never Forget

Up your game in the kitchen by putting these clever lessons into practice immediately.

Chefs' 50 Favorite Kitchen Tools

The country's best chefs tell Food Network Magazine what they can't live without.

Spring Cleaning Kitchen Tips and Ideas

The kitchen is the center of most homes, making it the most heavily trafficked room and a target for dust, grime and general buildup. Kick off spring cleaning by zeroing in on basic zones for a better kitchen.

Kitchen Squad: Make-Ahead Dinners

The experts from Food Network and Food52 developed these make-ahead dinners for busy families.

At Your Disposal: How to Use Up Kitchen Waste

Chefs tell Food Network Magazine how they use perfectly good ingredients that the rest of us throw away.

Multipurpose Kitchen Supplies: An A-to-Z Guide

Give common kitchen tools a second chance with these tips for new uses for everyday kitchen supplies.

How to Clean Any Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertop Appliance

Follow these easy steps for cleaning stainless steel kitchen appliances that sparkle like new.

5 Tools for Easier Baking

Avid bakers know that their most important tools are patience and an attention to detail. These items below, however, do simplify the baking process and will quickly become indispensable.

5 Things To Know About Your Refrigerator

Foods like raw meat and dairy are only as good as the environment in which they're stored. A refrigerator in tip-top condition provides prime storage conditions for your perishables and stops odors and bacteria from flourishing.

5 Ways You're Being Set Up by Your Supermarket

These sneaky tactics help supermarkets have consumers do their bidding.

Get Cooking