A knife may help you out to cook the best meal of a day but at the same time, it can create potential hazards that may give an unwanted experience. Knife accidents are common accidents in a kitchen especially in home kitchens running by beginners. Even in the busy kitchens of any restaurant, the professionals also get trapped by the knife sometimes while using it. Hence, today, our article is regarding the common knife accidents in the kitchen and how you can avoid them.
Knife lacerations and cuts become common accidents for us. An inattention slip of the knife while chopping can cause a cut in your hand and if the knife is blunt then the accident is confirmed. It is not always the person who is using the knife gets hurt only. He or she might end up hurting others near him or her as well.
Thus, to protect yourself and your closest ones from the unwanted common knife accidents, give a minute look below to know about the accidents and their precautions.
List of Common Knife Accidents in Kitchen and how You are gonna avoid them
Though most of the best knives from renowned and well-reputed brands like Shun, Zwelling, or Wusthof come with all safety designs yet accident occurs. And, you cannot help it until you know what the possible accidents are that might take place. Let me tell you.
# Cutting hand while slicing up the bagels
This is one of the most occurred knife injuries that take place in almost every kitchen. For being a very common accident every year a large number of people are led to the hospitals with the occurrence. Hence, this injury has given a medical term named Bagel-Related-Injury or BRI. Many of us do the mistake and try to cut the bagel taking it in our hand. Blunt knives are more prone to this accident.
Again, access sharp knives are also prone to this evilness. Any inch of extra cut through the bagels can catch your hand skin along with the flesh. So, if you are a newbie, you are supposed to know about this knife injury first.
- Do not try to cut keeping it in your hand rather try to keep the bagels on a flat chopping board or kitchen surface.
- Still, if you cut your hands then wash it quickly so that it doesn’t catch any infection.
- Then dress the wound with a sterile bandage.
- If the injury causes bleeding badly elevate your hand to stop the bleed and go for medical treatment.
# Finger cuts from chopping or mincing of herbs or parsley
Many edibles come with a bunch of portions including parsley or spinach in your cooking that requires precise chopping. Through the chopping process, many slice through their fingers which bring a horrible experience.
Also, there are many seasoned chefs who deal with mincing many herbs and seasons. Unfortunately, most of them have to go through scrapes throughout this process. Even, some newbie had to go through amputated fingers or serious lacerations.
- Whoever goes inside the kitchen should learn and be well-trained about the proper use and handling of a knife.
- Always store the knife in a proper place where all parts of your body especially your fingers are safe.
- Learn all the cutting techniques. Different veggies or fruits require different cutting styles. Know all of them.
- If amputation of any fingers occurs, run to the doctor immediately.
# Tennis Elbow or Tendonitis from continuous cutting with a knife
It is another common injury but, very few of us are aware of it. Tennis Elbow develops in people when their elbow gets repetitive and continuous strains. This injury occurs when you stress your elbow for a long period of time and in the very same way.
Many professionals out there are acquainted with this injury due to the grueling and continuous cutting, dicing, slicing, and chopping of vegetables, herbs, and fruits with a heavy knife. This long-hour activity causes stress, strain, and pressure to the elbow and Tendonitis occurs.
- Try to choose knives that are effective yet lightweight. The best-branded knives come in a balanced size and weight. These knives offer an effortless cutting experience for a longer period.
- Go for the knives that have an ergonomic handle. These knives create less pressure on the hand and the elbow while dealing with even larger veggies.
- Take rest and give your hand and arm rest as well after periods of intense cutting with knives.
- To recover the elbow pain or swelling take anti-inflammatory drugs or medicines and go for a doctor-recommended prescription if the case is serious.
# Slipping of a knife and its fall on toes
Many do not sharpen their knives frequently. As a result, the knives become dull and cutting off things with the knives requires more force and pressure. Hence, sometimes the knife slips from the hand and goes right to the toes. This accident is more terrible.
Again, if your knife is sharpened to a standard angle yet the handle is not slip-resistant, this accident will surely take place without even warning you.
- Before start cutting, always check the sharpness of your knife. A dull knife is the main culprit to these accidents.
- Buy a knife that comes with an edge of at least a 20-degree angle per side.
- Re-sharpen your knife with a sharpening stone or sharpening steel frequently
- You can touch up the knife in between your cutting, slicing, and chopping process
- If the accident happens anyhow then make sure the first aid tip and then consider a doctor’s suggestion.
# Contamination and infection for using rusty knives
Not using clean knives or keeping them in the open air all the time on a cutting board or soaking it in soapy water can cause contamination and several injuries may occur. Keeping knives in the open air without ensuring proper storage can make them super rusty.
Additionally, if your hand gets cut by the rusty knife it can be infectious as well. You also may end up having tetanus disease from the wound. Rusty knives are the sources of dangerous and harmful bacteria. So, these bacteria can go inside your bloodstream cutting your hand, and can infect your body ruthlessly.
- Clean your knives after every use and hand wash is considered better for washing knives as not all the knives are dishwasher safe.
- Dry the knives wiping them with a dry towel or clothes.
- Then storage the knives in a knife block or knife sheath and place them in the safest place of the kitchen.
- Choose knives that do not have any spots that may collect bacteria.
# Getting stabbed in the hands while catching a dropping knife
This happens when our sub-conscious mind wants to catch a dropping knife without knowing the result. A dropping knife is always a dangerous thing even to imagine. It may fall on your toes as well. It is never a better idea to try to catch a knife that is about to fall. The sharp edge can stab your hand giving you a worse experience.
- Do not ever try to catch a falling knife instead, step backward immediately you sense the situation about to happen.
- Let the knife fall to the surface or floor.
- Examine if any part of the knife is damaged or not and then try to fix it before start working with it.
How can You Prevent these Knife Injuries?
Get a sharp knife: The first and foremost thing before you start working with a knife is to check its sharpness. Different knives come with different sharpness and durability. Knives with a 15-degree edge angle require re-sharpening frequently. Hence, know your knife properly.
Pick the right knife for the right task: You just cannot go for any task with only one knife. Though there are chef knives made for all-purpose yet some cutting task requires specific knives. Otherwise, knife injuries will never say bye.
Choose a balanced knife: Many non-branded knives are not balanced at all. On the other hand, some well-known branded knives come with a balanced size, weight, and everything else. They are also flexible, durable, and full-tang to ensure all safety.
Do the right cutting techniques: To ensure knife safety learning proper cutting techniques is another fundamental part. Always make a secure grip while holding the handle and never keep the other hand on the way of the blade.
Always pay attention while cutting: A bit of inattention can slice your fingers instead of your foods. Hence, paying attention is important especially in commercial kitchens when you are running a hectic schedule.
Proper storage and cleaning of the knife: To prevent potential kitchen contamination and injury, knowing proper cleaning and storage of knife is important. So, know all the cleaning hacks to prevent rust, contamination, and infection.
Many of us take knife tasks easily hence we barely do care about the consequences. Even a single cut in your hand by a knife may cause you to pay more than thousands of dollars for medical care. Hence, keeping yourself and your workplace safe is also one of your duties.
So, be aware by knowing the possible injuries caused by a kitchen knife and follow our safety tip. Also, let us know if you have gone through any way mischievous experiences while using your kitchen knife. Finally, we suggest, slice your food not your fingers!