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ShopSmart Uncovers The Six Top Kitchen Dangers

Simple tips for staying safe and preventing injuries

ShopSmart MagazineYonkers, NY – Absent-minded mistakes in the kitchen cause many  cuts, burns, and other injuries.  The October 2013 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, identifies the kitchen products that cause the most harm and simple ways to avoid them.

“It’s easy to make a mistake in the kitchen when you’re in a rush or in a post-workday haze,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “But there are simple things you can do to avoid landing in the hospital.”

ShopSmart ranked the kitchen products that send the most people to the emergency room.  In descending order, they are: knives, ranges, cookware, slicers and choppers, microwaves and blenders.

Below are some simple ways to avoid getting hurt when using these products and appliances.  Importantly:  Always keep a fire extinguisher with a minimum 5-B:C rating on hand.

  • Knives.  Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones, so keep knives sharpened and stored in a block.  Use a cutting board that doesn’t have a slippery surface, and place a damp towel under it to keep it from moving.
  • Ovens/Ranges. Install an anti-tip bracket to secure the unit in place.  Never place heavy roasts and other food on an open oven door.
  • Cookware. Always use oven mitts to pick up hot pots and pans.  If a grease fire starts, smother the flames with a cookie sheet or lid for 10 to 15 minutes to make sure the fire is out.
  • Slicers & Choppers. Don’t leave motorized models on for a long time; they can overheat.  Never reach into a slicer or chopper. Because many parts, including blades, are dishwasher safe, don’t handwash them.
  • Microwave Ovens. Be careful when removing a wrapper or cover from microwaved food; steam can escape and cause a nasty burn.  Let food cool a minute or two before removing it from the microwave.  Boil water on the stove; water heated in a microwave can become super-heated and erupt violently without warning.
  • Blenders. Most blenders don’t have safety interlocks, so don’t reach inside, especially if it is plugged in.  To clean blades without touching them, add hot water and a bit of dishwashing liquid to the blender container and let it run on high for a minute, then rinse.  If the blender has a container that disassembles, wash the parts in the dishwasher, as the rubber gasket can harbor bacteria.

The full report on kitchen dangers can be found in the October 2013 issue of ShopSmart, on newsstands now.

It also features a list of first aid do’s and don’ts for cuts and burns and the number of injuries these products and appliances cause each year based on data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

About Consumer Reports

Consumer ReportsConsumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually.

Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

About ShopSmart Magazine

ShopSmart MagazineLaunched in Fall 2006 by Consumer Reports, ShopSmart draws upon the publication’s celebrated tradition of accepting no advertisements and providing unbiased product reviews. ShopSmart features product reviews, shopping tips on how to get the most out of products and “best of the best” lists. It’s ideal for busy shoppers who place a premium on time.

ShopSmart has a newsstand price of $4.99 and is available nationwide at major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Kroger, Safeway and Publix. ShopSmart is available by subscription at www.ShopSmartmag.org.


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