When you’re cooking, the last thing on your mind is getting hurt. After all, how can preparing food hurt you, right?
Well, apparently it can.
According to reports, between 2010 and 2014 fire departments across the U. S. responded to nearly 170,000 home emergencies caused cooking equipment.
That’s not all. Over a million emergency room visits are also a result of hand and arm lacerations. This puts it as the 5th highest cause of ER visits.
To help you avoid any of these instances, it’s important to be aware of the kitchen appliances that can kill you. This way, you’ll be able to be more mindful when using them in order to avoid accidents or fires.
Electric mixers are generally safe. That is, unless you decide to get any of your fingers close to the spinning beaters.
While the beaters make not look sharp, they spin at very high speeds. Depending on the model you have and the speed setting you place it on, the beaters can run anywhere from 80 rpm (revolutions per minute) to over 300 rpm.
The size and type of mixer can also make a big difference. Hand mixers aren’t as powerful a stand mixers. They come with smaller housing which means they’re limited in terms of the size of motor that they can be equipped with.
Plus, because you’re holding a hand mixer you’re less likely to put your hand in the beaters.
That said, it’s never a good idea to try and reach for the temptingly delicious icing or mix while the mixer is running. The spinning beaters can easily break your fingers. Or, at the very least cause some serious bruising. Either way, it’s painful.
In fact, Hospital-Data.com reports that between 1997 and 2010, there were nearly 9,000 emergency room cases involving electric mixers. The injuries ranged from cuts and bruises to sprains and fractures.
Besides your fingers, it’s always a good idea to tie your hair up when using a mixer. Getting it caught in the beaters is not only painful but also likely means you’ll need to cut your locks to get free.
Besides the meat slicer, the meat grinder is probably the next scariest looking device in your kitchen. Unlike most of the other appliances both machines come with open ends. That is, it’s not too difficult to get your hand or other body parts caught up in the openings or chutes.
Additionally, both are very powerful.
Meat grinders are designed to break apart large chunks of meat into finer bits. This makes them perfect for making sausages, burgers and meatloaf. Because of this, it’s vital that nobody ever sticks there fingers in the chute.
This can be tempting especially when you can’t find or misplaced the plastic pusher. It’s never safe to get your fingers anywhere close to the opening especially for electric grinders which don’t stop.
So, when using a meat grinder, always make sure you use the pusher that comes with it.
Toasters are another open ended kitchen appliance. Their top ends are open to make it easy to slide pieces of bread into the toaster. But, they can be dangerous if anyone decides to slide their fingers in them to retrieve or remove something.
While placing your fingers in a toaster isn’t too common, risk of fire can be. Toasters use conductive wires as their heating elements. These get to very hot temperatures which make them fire hazards in certain situations.
Often the cause is mechanical or electrical failure. But other times, crumbs from the toast that get left inside the device. When they get too hot or come into contact with the heating elements, the crumbs can catch fire.
Speaking of crumbs, there’s another problem with open ended devices. That is, insects like roaches can sneak in through them. If you don’t clean the inside of your toaster regularly, you can bet small critters will find their way in there for food.
If they stay there while you toast your bread or lay eggs, then you’re probably going to be eating something less than sanitary.
Back in the day, radiation from microwave ovens caused a lot of worry. That isn’t the case today. Thanks to all the regulations, manufacturers follow strict rules to make sure that microwave ovens are safe for human use.
That is, as long as it isn’t damaged. When in good condition, they’re radiation levels are safe to home use. This is according to leading health institutions including Cancer Research UK. There are also numerous studies which back this belief.
Unfortunately, unmaintained microwave ovens can allow radiation to leak. In this case, they become a serious threat to your family if you keep using it.
The more immediate concern of microwave ovens nowadays is people not knowing how to use them. Many people still insert non-microwavable plastic containers in them. Similarly, others place take out containers, Styrofoam, metal cookware or non-ceramic glass in them as well.
All these are dangerous items that don’t belong in there.
Similarly, never place a cup of water by itself in your microwave. Doing so, along with a few other things can cause it to explode and burn you.
Slow cookers or crockpots are one of the most ingenious kitchen inventions. They allow you to cook all sorts of foods including tougher cuts of meats until tender. Plus, they’re one of the easiest cooking appliances to use since there’s no need to keep flipping or moving the pan.
Slow cookers by themselves aren’t really too dangerous. The actual risk comes if the device is faulty or the wiring starts to get frayed.
Since these cooking vessels are left to cook on their own for long hours, you’re unlikely to notice something has gone wrong until long after.
Additionally, many people turn their crockpots on then leave them to cook while they go out or get to work. If anything happens along the way, There’s nobody to stop the fire while it’s still small.
Very much like slow cookers, instant pots are a great way to cook almost anything you can imagine. They can even make yogurt.
But, like all cooking appliances, it’s always important to keep it in good working condition. That is, to make sure everything works properly. And, all the components are cleaned after each use.
The most overlooked of these components is the water cup. The cup collects moisture that builds up during the cooking process. Along the way some small pieces of food also find their way in there.
As useful as it is, it can also harbor small critters and their eggs. Whenever there’s moisture left for a long time, and bits of food, you can expect them to become breeding grounds for insects, bugs and other small creatures.
This isn’t something you want mixed in the to food you’re cooking for your family.
Immersion blenders are one of the most useful handheld kitchen tools around. They help you mash up all sorts of food including soups and sauces.
But, like the other appliances in our list, it’s important to be careful with them. Because of the cover that’s situated over its blades, there isn’t much of an injury while operating the device.
However, most of the injuries come cleaning time. Because they have to cut up chunks of food, many of the small bits can get caught in the slicer and the spinning mechanism right above it. This means you’ll jar those bits out.
The problem when doing so are the sharp blades.
As a result, there were nearly 10,000 injuries caused by blenders in 2015.
Pasta machines are a must if you want to make fresh pasta at home. Of course, you can use a rolling pin. But, for most home chefs who don’t have a lot of time on their hands, pasta machines are a God-send.
Not only is it faster and takes less effort, these devices let you get very precise on the thickness of the pasta dough. That’s not something that’s easily done with a rolling pin.
The caveat here is that never force your dough through the machine using your fingers. This can be tempting especially when the thick dough has a hard time getting through the rollers.
The reason is, if your fingers happen to slide into the machine, you’re going to need to rush to the ER. These rollers are no joke. They’ll literally crush the bones in your fingers and damage your nerves.
Garbage disposals are convenient. But, they’re one of the most dangerous kitchen appliances you’ll find. The large opening makes it easy for a lot of things to get inside the device.
And, once they’re in, there’s no coming out.
These things will cut and mash everything that goes in. Needless to say, you, your kids or pets should never get any parts of your bodies in them.
Similarly, garbage disposal units also malfunction. In 2017, nearly 150,000 units were recalled because of possible problems. When they get broken, these devices will spew out all sorts of things at you including metal object and broken components.