Holiday Baking 101: Top 3 Tips to Stay Safe in the Kitchen

(NC) Baking for the holidays is one the most fun family traditions — rolling out the dough, cutting the gingerbread men and candy cane shapes and mixing buttercream can bring a smile to the face of any aspiring baker. But it's important to understand and follow necessary safety measures.

Though most may seem obvious (everyone knows not to grab a cookie sheet straight from the oven with their bare hands, right?), there are many safety tips that might surprise even the most experienced baker. Cara Rosenbloom, registered dietitian and baking enthusiast shares some tips to keep in mind when whipping up your next batch of tasty treats:

Scrub-a-dub-dub those hands:

Before, during and after baking anything, holiday season or not, it is extremely important to keep your hands clean. Not just for the safety of those wanting to take a bite of your freshly frosted snowman cupcakes —this is also for the safety of the baker. When baking anything, it is likely that your hands will come into contact with a variety of raw ingredients, like eggs and flour. Many don't know that flour is a raw ingredient that has been minimally processed and is not safe to eat unless it's been baked or cooked.

Follow the rules ...err, instructions:

When it comes to following any recipe, even the most traditional gingerbread cookie instructions, it's okay to stray a little from specific ingredients. However, it is not safe to discard a recipe's suggested cook time — especially when it comes to baking. As it's not safe to eat raw ingredients or dough, following the prescribed timing in a recipe ensures that the food you're munching on is safe for consumption.

When you can't handle the heat, DON'T leave the kitchen:

Cooking fires happen all the time, so having a fire extinguisher and working alarm in close proximity will ensure that you can act quickly. As tempting as it may be to sit in the living room and flip on a holiday TV special or family movie, stay in the kitchen and scroll through your Instagram feed while waiting for your Christmas cake to rise.

Visit www.canadianmillers.ca for a fun and informative infographic detailing the flour-making process and additional safe handling tips for using flour when baking.

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