Cooking and Eye Safety
February 17, 2014
Are you a gourmet cooking enthusiast, or more of a microwave champion? Either way, there are eye safety dangers lurking in your kitchen! Following are a few risks to be aware of, and how to protect your eyes from these incidents.
Have you ever been accidentally burned by splatters or pops of hot oil? Just as easily as your hands and arms may be burned, so can your eyes. If hot oil splashes in your eyes, flush them out immediately with cool, clean water. If it is a mild problem, repeating this process a few times an hour may give you relief; otherwise have someone take you to the emergency room or your eye doctor right away. Thought it may seem awkward, wearing safety glasses when frying or grilling can save your sight.
Food Juices, Fumes, & Oils
Have you ever cut a hot pepper and then rubbed your eyes later? The result is immediately unpleasant. Pepper juices soak into the skin of your hands and are very hard to fully wash off. This residue will linger for hours, so in the interests of eye safety it’s best to wear food-safe disposable gloves when cutting and handling these types of foods. Once you are finished, carefully remove and throw them away, being cautious not to touch your skin with the outside of the gloves. Wash your hands well after removing the gloves also, in case any contact accidentally occurred. To reduce tear-provoking onion fumes, place the onion in the freezer first for a while before cutting, or wear goggles.
Fire, Smoke, and Steam
Grilling and cooking are sometimes treacherous activities that result in burned food or flames. Smoke is particularly irritating to your eyes, leading to redness, itching, burning, and watering. Protect yourself by wearing safety glasses, using a fan or additional ventilation during cooking, and being prepared to extinguish a fire quickly and safely.
Cooking is a wonderfully creative and rewarding process, but also one that poses an eye safety risk. Use common sense and take precautions to protect your skin and eyes from cooking injuries.