Holidays and colder weather can be a great time to cook together as a family. It is important you and your family know how to stay safe while cooking. While COVID-19, does not appear to be transmitted through food and cooking it is important to make sure you still follow safety guidelines when preparing food.
When cooking especially with COVID-19, it is important that you do not host dinner parties or participate in cooking gatherings outside your immediate family. This will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep your family safe.
COVID-19 and cooking:
- The risk of getting COVID-19 from handling or consuming food is very low.
- COVID-19 is typically not spread by touching food packaging or shopping bags.
- COVID-19 is also not spread through drinking water.
- Do not use cleaning chemicals on food packaging or shopping bags.
- Do not wash produce with chemicals such as hand sanitizer, bleach, all purposes cleaner etc.
- Gently wash produces and fruits/vegetables under cool water.
- Limit trips to the grocery store by planning meals ahead of time and making sure you get all of your ingredients that you need to cook for the week.
A couple things to remember each time you start to cook:
- Always wash your hands before cooking.
- Check the expiration dates on any of the food items you are using to make sure the food is still good to use.
- When children are cooking, make sure they are always supervised by an adult.
- If you are sick, avoid cooking for the rest of the family to help prevent the spread of illness.
- Wipe down any surfaces such as counters that you will be using before you start to cook.
- Wash your hands immediately after handling any eggs, poultry, raw meat such as chicken or beef.
- Avoid thawing meat on the counters but instead thaw meat in the refrigerator.
- Review the recipe before you start to cook to make sure you know what materials you will need.
After you have washed your hands and are ready to start cooking, it is important to keep these guidelines in mind to prevent injuries.
- When removing an item from the oven or stove, always use a hot pad.
- Children should not be removing items from the stove or oven and should always have adult supervision when cooking with the stove or oven.
- Turn pot handles towards the back of the oven to help prevent them from being knocked over.
- Only use microwave safe cookware in the microwave.
- Never place any metal such as a fork, spoon, or aluminum foil in the microwave.
- Cookware items should be labeled as microwave safe
- Allow food to cool for a few minutes before removing it from the microwave.
- Use hot pads to remove an item from the microwave to prevent burns.
- Avoiding holding a child while cooking and keep them away from hot objects.
- Keep sharp objects such as knives and scissors out of reach from the child.
- Unplug appliances when you are not using them and never allow a child to plug in an appliance.
- Allow food and drink items to cool before you serve them to children.
- Check smoke alarms and keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of a fire.
- Set timers and check food frequently to prevent food from being overcooked or burning.
- Wear closed toed shoes when cooking and roll up sleeves to avoid clothing catching on fire.
- Avoid wearing clothing that has clothes that dangle or could be caught in an appliance when cooking.
- When available, wear an apron to prevent food from getting on your clothes.
- Never leave the kitchen when you have food on the stove.
- Never place a child on the kitchen counter while cooking.
Cooking can be a great way to have some family time especially during 2020 when we are at home more. Be sure to keep these tips in mind to make sure your families stays safe while cooking!!