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Knife Safety Tips

Knife Safety Tips

Walk into any commercial kitchen, and you'll see a variety of knives in use. Professional-grade cutlery is essential to every operation, but also poses an obvious personal safety risk. Making sure your staff is trained to correctly use and safely handle knives can help minimize that risk. Read on for some helpful knife safety tips!

1. A sharp knife is a safer knife

Sharp Knife

Keeping your knives properly sharpened is one of the easiest ways to lower the risk of cuts. Why? A dull knife needs more force to cut, and is more likely to slip. It's easy and inexpensive to keep your kitchen's knives razor-sharp with a sharpening stone or knife sharpener. A sharpening steel is a great way to "touch up" the blade between full sharpenings.

Most knife blades have an approximately 20-degree angle on each side of the cutting edge, as this strikes a good balance between sharpness and durability. You can sharpen to a lower angle if you cut a lot of soft materials, but of course the trade-off would be a knife that requires more frequent sharpening, and lower overall durability.

2. The right knife for the job

Commercial cutlery is available in a dizzying array of styles, shapes, and sizes. Don't use a big chef knife to peel an apple or a potato; likewise don't use a paring knife to cut up a melon or pineapple! Using the right knife is more efficient, too. And remember, a knife is not a can opener, screwdriver, box cutter, or ice pick!

3. Keep them clean

It's always a good idea to clean your knife as soon as you're done using it. Not to mention lessening the chance of a slippery handle, you'll also be minimizing the chance of cross-contamination. Don't leave it in a sink-full of soapy water where someone could grab the blade. 

Knife Storage

Certain handle materials offer a less slippery grip and you can take this into consideration when purchasing knives for your kitchen.

4. Store correctly

Knives should always be stored on a knife rack or block, or even a knife roll when not in use. Don't leave them lying around, or in a drawer with other tools. Someone might reach into the door and cut his or her hand on the blade.

5. Proper holding and cutting techniques

Never hold what you're trying to cut in your hand, always use a cutting board. If you're not sure about the correct way to hold the knife or use it for the task at hand, ask a more experienced kitchen worker to demonstrate the proper knife safety techniques for you.

For example, holding onto the blade with your pointer finger and thumb, as illustrated below, gives you more control while cutting, than simply grasping the handle. Also, notice how the chef's fingers are curved back and away from the blade, as he holds the tomato.

If you drop the knife, your natural instinct might be to grab for it—just let it fall!

Proper Techniques

6. Pay attention

It may sound obvious, but always give the knife and your task your full attention. A commercial kitchen can be a hectic place. If you're distracted, stop what you're doing and deal with the distraction before returning to cutting.

Related Resources

Types of Knives

One of the most basic, but important hand tools for any commercial kitchen is the knife. With so many different types of knives, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which knife is best. A quality knife that's matched to the task at hand can increase productivity in your kitchen and provide better results. We offer a great selection of commercial kitchen knives to match any task and budget!

How to Use A Sharpening Stone

Most people don't think about sharpening knives until this vital kitchen tool is no longer sharp. The truth is that nothing impacts the longevity of your knives, or their daily performance, more than regular sharpening and maintenance. A dull knife in the kitchen is more dangerous than a sharp one when employees must force their way through cutting meat and slicing vegetables. As a result, daily sharpening and maintenance is easy, and most importantly, necessary . We're here to show you how to use a sharpening stone, including correct techniques and maintenance. The end result is a more efficient, and safer, set of knives! Preparing Your Stone for Sharpening Sharpening tools by using a sharpening stone has been an effective technique f

How to Clean a Cutting Board

Some of the most common items found in almost all commercial kitchens are cutting boards . Understanding the proper care to give to these boards will not only increase their lifespan and eliminate the hassle of having to replace them, but appropriate care also prevents bacteria from spreading and dangerous cross-contamination. Whether you run a small bistro, fast food restaurant, or upscale steakhouse, cleaning your cutting boards and understanding how to maintain them is key to running a successful foodservice operation. Washing vs. Sanitizing Did you know that the terms ‘washing’ and ‘sanitizing’ actually mean different things in regards to proper cleaning techniques? Washing refers to a rinse with soap and hot water, while sanitizing inv

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