Safe at Home Training Adds Food Safety

Prevention 1st’s Safe at Home safety training has always included important cooking safety skills to prevent kitchen fires and burns. Now it will also address the top 3 causes of foodborne illness: Improper hand washing; Not cooking foods to the correct temperature; and Storing foods at incorrect temperature. The training will include cues to action and information to be shared with caregivers and circles of support.

The Food Safety curriculum covers 4 topics:

CLEAN, including proper techniques for handwashing, cleaning dishes, surfaces and inside of refrigerator, and storing cleaning supplies.

SEPARATE, avoiding cross-contamination by storing raw meat or seafood separate from other foods on the lowest refrigerator shelf, and cleaning hands and all items that come in contact with raw meat or seafood.

COOK, including following directions, microwave safety, minimum safe internal cooking temperatures, and how to use a meat thermometer.

CHILL, covering proper refrigeration, freezing and thawing techniques.

Learn more about Safe at Home training.

Healthy Cooking Should Be Fire-Safe Cooking

Cooking_young_girl_with_bowlCooking is the most common cause of home fires. Foodlink, a regional food bank serving 10 counties in Greater Rochester, New York, has partnered with Prevention 1st to incorporate safety into its Cooking Matters courses that help families learn about healthy cooking.

Through support from Wegmans Food Markets and Community Health Strategies, Prevention 1st has developed a kitchen and cooking safety curriculum for the program, which serves about 500 families. Here are some of Prevention 1st’s tips for preventing fires and burns in the kitchen, especially when involving children in cooking:

Be Fire Safe in Kitchen—the top fire and burn risks and how to avoid them

Kids in the Kitchen—includes at what ages children can learn to use kitchen appliances and techniques safely

Modeling Kitchen Fire Safety—the top habits for safety in the kitchen


Related Articles and Resources:

Home Fire Safety Checklist

Top Safety Concerns for People With Developmental Disabilities: Fire and Cooking

Safer Cooking: Frying

When is a Child Old Enough to Use the Stove or Oven? (from our expert partner Community Health Strategies)

Safe Cooking Matters

iStock_000047214164_Family_Cooking (679 x 452)Prevention 1st is partnering with Foodlink, a Rochester-based non-profit that provides food to food pantries across the upstate NY region, to incorporate safety into its cooking and nutrition education programs for families.

With the help of a grant from Wegmans Food Markets, Prevention 1st will develop kitchen and cooking safety curriculum for Foodlink’s “Cooking Matters” program, which empowers families at risk of hunger with the skills, knowledge and confidence to shop smarter, make healthy food choices, and cook tasty and affordable meals. Approximately 500 families participate in the program.

Prevention 1st’s “Safe Cooking Matters” will provide tips on preventing fires and burns while cooking. Nearly 60% of home fires in the City of Rochester start in the kitchen.

Related articles:

Safer Cooking: Frying

Top Safety Concerns For People With Developmental Disabilities: Fire and Cooking

When is a Child Old Enough to Use the Stove or Oven? (from our expert partner Community Health Strategies)

Top Safety Concerns for People With Developmental Disabilities: Fire and Cooking

Read Part 1: How Can People With Disabilities Be Safe While Living Independently?

Recently Prevention 1st convened Safe at Home: Effective Safety Training for People with Intellectual Disabilities Living Independently. Co-sponsored with the NYS Office of People With Developmental Disabilities and Monroe Community College, this community conference drew more than 100 attendees including people with disabilities, caregivers, and staff members and volunteers from community agencies, fire departments, and schools.

We asked attendees to rank the importance of 10 commonly mentioned safety concerns and to feel free to add in others. From the final list of 28 topics, fire safety was ranked the number one concern and kitchen/cooking safety was ranked number two. They’re right to be concerned: the US Fire Administration reports that cooking is the leading cause of home fires, causing 49% of such fires.

This response, combined with the statistics on safety risks for people with developmental disabilities and the concerns we had already collected from potential recipients of our proposed safety training, makes it clear that fire safety, including cooking safety, is our highest training development priority.

Encouraged by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Prevention 1st is developing an evaluated curriculum for teaching fire safety and injury prevention skills to people with intellectual disabilities (ID) who live independently.

Many local agencies and families are also eagerly awaiting an effective, evidence-based program to improve the safety of people with intellectual disabilities living independently.

Thanks to grants from the Developmental Disabilities Giving Circle of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and the Jane L. and Laurence C. Glazer Charitable Trust,  focus groups were held and a pilot program of in-home training sessions is underway with 30 individuals with intellectual disabilities who are new to independent living.

We’ll keep you updated on how Prevention 1st and Community Health Strategies are working together to develop that training. If you’re not already on the mailing list for our newsletter Prevention 1st on the 1st, sign up now to be notified when articles appear.

How to Have a Safe Thanksgiving

iStock_TurkeyinOven_Smaller (679 x 452)Thanksgiving is a peak day for gathering with family and friends. Unfortunately, it’s also the peak day for home cooking fires. Maybe that’s not surprising, considering that the major cause of home fires is cooking—a big part of Thanksgiving activities. In fact, Thanksgiving has three times the average number of home fires involving cooking equipment as all other days of the year.

The U.S. Fire Administration offers these tips for a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking – frying, broiling or boiling –  at high temperatures.
  • Make your cooking area safe. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Turn pot handles toward the back so they can’t be bumped.
  • Watch what you’re cooking. Use a timer when roasting a turkey or baking.
  • Be prepared. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire.
  • Stay awake and alert while you’re cooking. If you see smoke or the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off.
  • Prevent burns. Wear short sleeves when you cook, or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot cookware.
  • Keep young children at least 3 feet away from the stove, oven or any place where hot food or drink is being prepared or carried. Keep hot foods and liquids away from table and counter edges.

USFA also wants you to know about turkey fryers:

  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
  • An overfilled cooking pot will spill cooking oil when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will splatter cooking oil when put in the pot.
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
  • Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot.
  • Visit the USFA website for more information on turkey fryer safety

More tips for staying safe during the upcoming holidays:

Company’s Coming: How to Stay Safe During the Season of Visitors

Safely Lighting the Holidays

Safer Cooking: Frying

Frying typically combines heat or flame, a combustible substance like grease or oil, and a shallow, open pan. Is it any wonder that frying is the method that causes the most cooking fires? Here are some tips for safer frying:

  • Stay in the kitchen. Turn off the stove if you must answer the phone or leave the kitchen, even for ‘just a second.’
  • Always have a lid and a dry oven mitt nearby.
  • To smother a small grease fire, use the mitt to slide the lid over the pan. Turn off the stove. Leave the pan covered until it’s completely cool to keep the fire from restarting.
  • Never try to put out a grease fire with water, which can make it spread.
  • If you can’t quickly smother the fire with a lid, get out. Call 9-1-1 after you leave.

To help prevent grease fires, keep your stovetop clean of grease and periodically clean grease from the vents and exhaust hood, so it cannot be ignited by heat.

See the NFPA recommendations for turkey fryers.