Food and cooking safety issues are serious. Unsafe food may have bacteria, viruses, parasites and other toxins. These can make you very sick. Cooking safety must always be observed to avoid accidents, such as injuries and fires.

Food safety

The Region of Durham Health Department monitors food safety in Durham Region. Their website has information on inspections and how to make a complaint.

You can search a food establishment's results with DineSafe Durham before you go.

Food safety training is available through the Region's Health Department.

Cooking safety

Follow these safety tips when cooking:

  • Only use appliances that are approved for interior use. 
  • Do not use barbecues and outdoor grills while indoors (gas and fire hazard).
  • Never leave cooking and appliances unattended while in use.
  • Make sure the stovetop is clean and free of spills and grease that may catch fire before you start cooking.
  • Remove all items from the stovetop when you have finished  cooking.
  • Use a heat-resistant surface to cool down hot cookware.
  • Keep young children and pets away from stovetops and ovens.
  • Keep a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
  • Keep a pot cover nearby to smother flames in the event of a fire.
  • If a pot catches fire, slide a pot cover over the pot and turn off the stove.
  • Never put water on a kitchen fire or try to move the pot to the sink. Call the fire department.
  • Don't wear loose clothing and sleeves that can accidentally catch fire.
  • Do not reach over hot burners.
  • Deep frying is a major kitchen hazard. Use only thermostatically controlled deep fryers to prevent overheating the oil and reduce the chance of fire. Be cautious when cooking with hot oil.
  • Don't cook when under the influence of alcohol, medications or if you are likely to fall asleep.
  • If you burn yourself, immediately run cool water over the wound for several minutes. Seek medical attention if the burn is severe.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets with appliances.
  • Keep heat-producing appliances away from cupboards, curtains and combustible items.
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms.
  • If cooking with someone else, pass them sharp objects such as knives with the blunt end out.
  • Do not run or rush with sharp or hot objects in your hands.
  • Use kitchen mitts or oven gloves when removing hot items from the oven or stove.
  • If you are cooking something with smoke, turn on your fan or open a window.
  • Never leave the house with the oven or any other cooking appliances on.

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