Kitchens today are filled with wonderful time savers. Every job that needs done has a machine to do it. Food prep is no longer the most time-consuming part of cooking and can actually be the fastest due to all of the handy dandy devices. However, these items pose certain hazards because there are blades built into many of them. While we take them for granted, they can definitely hurt us if we ignore the safety advice. Here are a few things that can happen if we don’t pay attention.
- BREAKAGE CAN CAUSE FOREIGN MATERIALS IN FOOD: A recent case brought to our attention was of a woman who was processing cabbage in her food processor. When she failed to empty the bowl, allowing it to overfill, a section of the plastic guide broke off, putting several pieces of plastic into a large batch of cole slaw. The entire batch had to be disposed of when the breakage was noticed on the last round of shredding.
- OVERHEATING of coils, cords, and motors can occur when an item designed for intermittent use is used too heavily. Many appliances have thermal cut-outs which will reset on their own once the temperature cools back down. However, continuous use of an item made for light use will damage the appliance eventually. Overheating cords can also pose a fire risk.
- BODILY HARM can be done with the misuse of many appliances. One of the biggest mistakes one can make is to clean an appliance while it is still plugged in. Even a stick or immersion blender can take a finger off if the button is accidentally pressed while you are wiping the blade. Many have been shocked when they try to dislodge a jammed blender without turning it off, and even a meat grinder or food processor should be used only with the correct food pusher. Using a different item to push food into the auger may cause it to get caught up in the auger and jam or break the equipment completely. If your hand is in the wrong place, a pinch point may be created which can break bones or bruise flesh. Many people have been injured by meat slicers as well, and the guard is there for a reason. Even though you most likely won’t die, you could lose the tip of a finger rather easily.
- DEATH may be caused by trying to clean an appliance while plugged in. Water in the wrong part of the item may result in a strong electrical shock. Many new versions are water resistant, but never assume that is the case. Always unplug before cleaning, even with a damp cloth.
- HOME DAMAGE is another risk with the misuse of appliances. Whether you spray fruit juice across the kitchen or mar a countertop with heavy vibrations of a mixer, there are several ways to do damage to your home. Be mindful and conscientious whenever you’re using electrical or sizeable machinery.
So, enjoy your appliances. Use them daily. Just remember to use them safely. Read the warnings and heed them!
Smith Electric and Associates is readily available to assist in upgrading your home wiring or installing the appliances. Smith Electric & Associates is in Mobile, Alabama. We are licensed to operate in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia and have been proudly serving the Gulf Coast since 1992. Call us for 24-hour emergency service at 251-471-4723! Visit us online at www.SmithElec.com and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!