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With the holidays just around the corner, the nation's oldest consumer advocacy group is helping consumers be smart in the kitchen with new tips about cooking safely -- and easily -- this year. The National Consumers League (NCL) has created a new brochure to help prevent cooking fires, which are the number one cause of house fires in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
"With all the guests, distractions, and stress of the holiday season, food preparation can be overwhelming -- and potentially dangerous -- for cooks this time of year," said Linda Golodner, NCL President. "Our goal is to make cooking as easy and as safe as possible this holiday season."
NCL's new brochure, "Good Cooking Starts with Safe Cooking," offers busy, time-starved cooks tips to prevent accidents in the kitchen. The brochure, along with new tips for consumers, is available online at http://www.nclnet.org or send a self- addressed, stamped envelope to NCL at 1701 K Street NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC. 20006.
The new brochure offers consumers ways to create a safer cooking environment for the whole family.
Some tips include:
* Heat with care: Learn how to tell whether your pan is properly preheated. If you are using a non-stick or empty pan, flick a few drops of water onto the pan. Once the water droplets begin to sizzle in the pan, it is hot enough. (Never flick water into hot oil -- the spattering oil can cause serious burns!)
* Stay in the kitchen: Don't leave any cookware on a hot stovetop unattended. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires across America, and unattended cooking is the No. 1 contributor to cooking fires.
* Play matchmaker: Use a stove burner that matches the size of the pan bottom. Once you have selected a pan that is appropriate for your recipe, use the burner that matches the size of the pan bottom. Using too small of a burner will result in uneven heating and long cooking times. Using too large of a burner is inefficient and exposes hot coils or flames.
* Keep it clean: Wash cooking surfaces to remove grease -- and prevent fires.
* Look for healthy habits: Consider using non-stick cookware to prepare meals with less oil. The American Heart Association recommends using non-stick cookware to "create a healthier diet without losing out on flavor."
The "Good Cooking Starts with Safe Cooking" brochure has been endorsed by the American Personal Chef Association, the Home Safety Council and the Cookware Manufacturers Association, and was made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from DuPont. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.
About the National Consumers League
Founded in 1899, the National Consumers League is the nation's oldest consumer advocacy organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. The National Consumers League is a private, nonprofit advocacy group representing consumers on marketplace and workplace issues.
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