Hospitality Services – Safe Knife Handling Tips

Every commercial kitchen needs cutlery. Therefore, you must know how to use a knife correctly and hold it. Proper knife training will help minimize personal injury and keep your kitchen running smoothly. You can learn more about knife safety if you’re starting out or need to refresh your skills.

1. Sharp Knives are Recommended

You need to use more force when using a dull knife for cutting. The knife will slip more easily, increasing the chance of injury. It is a good idea to keep your knives sharpened. To maintain the original blade precision, you can use a knife sharpener or sharpening stone. A sharpening steel is a good option if your knife requires a quick touch-up between sharpenings.

How sharp should my knife be?

Most knife blades have a 20-degree angle on either side to ensure durability and sharpness. You may need to sharpen your knife at 15 degrees per side if you work with soft ingredients.

A knife that is 15 degrees in angle will require more frequent sharpening and can decrease its overall durability. Keep your knife at 20 degrees for any ingredients with a harder texture. If necessary, you can choose to sharpen your blade wider.

2. Choose the Right Knife to Do the Job

Properly choosing the right knife for the job at hand is one of the most important knife safety tips foodservice professionals need to know. The wide range of commercial cutlery styles, shapes and sizes can make this difficult.

How to choose the right knife?

Here are some things to consider when choosing a knife

Blade size: Make sure your knife is the right size for the food you cut. A small paring knife won’t be useful for cutting large cuts of meat. Instead, use a cleaver.

Flexibility: Some tasks need a flexible knife, while others require a more rigid blade. Consider the knife you would use to remove the scales from a fish versus the one you would use to cut potatoes.

Blade edge: How the edge of your blade affects how you do things. For example, Granton blades can be used for wet foods like salmon and cheese.

Use your knife only for cutting food. You could be in danger if you use your knife for any other purpose.

3. Keep Your Knives Clean

It is essential to wash your knife immediately after using it to avoid contamination. If you leave your knife unattended in the sink or on a cutting board, your kitchen will be cluttered.

It is easier to use a clean knife. A knife that has been contaminated with food can become slippery.

Knife Cleaning Tips

  • Make sure you wash your knife well to maintain sanitation. These are some tips to remember when cleaning knives.
  • Is your knife safe for the dishwasher? It is convenient to ensure your knife is clean and dry, but some knives are not dishwasher-safe to preserve their sharp edges.
  • Are there any areas on your knife where bacteria could accumulate? You should inspect your knife before and after you wash it to ensure no bacteria growth spots.

4. Properly Store Knives

You can organize your kitchen with a designated knife storage area. It will also help you to maintain a safe knife practice. Your knives should not be in direct contact with your workspace when they are not being used. Your workers and your knife will not be safe if your knife is placed in a drawer. Knife blocks and rolls can prevent mishaps, increase longevity and reduce the risk of knife injuries.

5. Learn the proper cutting techniques

Knife safety is all about knowing how to cut properly with your knife. Bad knife handling can cause injury or damage to your knives and kitchen tools. Incorrectly holding your knife can cause injury and damage to your kitchen tools.

How to Use a Knife?

  • When cutting ingredients, always use a cutting board. This will ensure that you can cut consistently and protect your work surface.
  • When cutting, be aware of how your hands are positioned. You should hold the knife securely in your hand.
  • Use your thumb and pointer finger to grasp the sides of the blade near the handle.
  • Your other hand should not be in the way of your blade. Notice how the chef holds the tomato while bending his fingers away from it.
  • Your blade should be lowered so that you can quickly and smoothly cut through the ingredients. This will allow you to maintain control and create a neater cut.
  • Ask a skilled worker to show you how to properly hold or use a knife for the job at hand.
  • Your instinct may be to grab the knife when you drop it. Let it fall to your safety! Dropped knives can be cleaned and replaced if necessary, but they will not heal as quickly as your hands.

6. Pay attention to What You’re Cutting

Even though a commercial kitchen is chaotic, you should always be focused on the task at hand. Distracted? Stop what you are doing and get help. Then, go back to the cutting task. This will allow you to stay safe while still producing your best work.

These knife safety tips can make your most-used tools a danger. Keep in mind the basic safety and handling of kitchen knives, and make sure you train your staff on proper use whenever you add a knife to your toolbox. Find out more about our internationally accredited certificate in Hospitality and Catering principles, click on the given link: