Safety in Knives

The knife is one of the most basic tools for chefs and for those in the meat processing industry.  The knife, though basic, is one of the most important tools for anyone wanting to process meat.

 

Though the basic design of the knife has changed little, there are advances being made.  Some of today’s knives are designed to be less strenuous on the operator and are designed to help lower the risk of injury.  Of course, one of the best ways to prevent knife injury is simple: keep the knife sharp.

 

Sharp knives are less likely to slip and cut a finger.  In addition, a person uses more pressure when using a dull knife than when he is using a sharp one and that can result in injury.  In addition, a sharp knife allows a person to break down a carcass faster, allowing for greater yields in the meat processing industry.

 

While cutting a person’s finger or a neighbor is a very real danger when using knives, there are other injuries to consider, particularly in the meat processing industry.  The repetitive slicing or other knife motions could cause musculoskeletal disorders or cumulative trauma disorders.  These are issues that could result in serious costs in worker’s compensation claims and days lost at work.  The solution may rest in ergonomically designed knives.

 

Ergonomically designed knives are knives that are designed to relieve stress on their users.  This can include handles with grips for fingers or knives that are designed for a particular motion.

 

Some knives are also doing their part in promoting food safety.  For example, knife handles can have metal ions in them or can be coated with Microban, both of which help to prevent cross-contamination.

 

Whether in the meat processing industry or in the kitchen, a proper knife is key.  Keep it sharp, keep it clean, and use the right one for the job.  Take care of your knives, and they will take care of you.

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