Regularly used by the majority of Brits, the toaster is a highly practical kitchen appliance. But despite being very easy to use, it is possible to make mistakes with it! Here are 9 dangerous toaster errors to avoid at all costs.
1/ Putting a knife into the toaster to remove a piece of toast
This is one of the classic toaster errors. A knife is a metal object, and sticking it into your toaster could lead to electrocution. It is better to use objects that do not conduct electricity, such as wooden utensils. This is a harmless practice if you have already plugged out the toaster.
2/ Putting the toaster on the table
You should never leave your toaster on the breakfast table, because a quick lapse in concentration (particularly in the mornings) could lead to you upturning the toaster and hurting yourself. You should leave the toaster on the worktop with plenty of space around it, making sure that there are no fabrics or curtains etc. touching it, in order to limit the risk of fire.
3/ Forgetting to clean your toaster
Not looking after your appliance can lead to the appearance of acrylamide, the infamous carcinogenic substance. Breadcrumbs that build up in the toaster get more burned with each use, which is what causes the substance to start to form. The risk of fire is also increased with the presence of breadcrumbs, which is why you should regularly empty the toaster in order to reduce the risk of such accidents. In order to find out how best to go about the job, have a look at our dedicated article on the subject.
4/ Not checking the plugs
If the plug, socket or cable is damaged or patched up, there could be a risk of it short circuiting. It is best to be vigilant with any electric cables in order to limit the risks.
5/ Over grilling your toast
Maybe you like your toast well done, and don’t mind blackening it up…. However, this practice could in fact be dangerous, as over browning your toast leads to a chemical reaction and the formation of a toxic carcinogenic substance called acrylamide. The compounds created in this reaction are poorly eliminated from the body and can end up in the bloodstream. This can lead to serious illnesses such as diabetes.
6/ Touching the toaster with wet hands
Using your toaster with wet hands can lead to a risk of electrocution. Make sure to dry your hands well before touching it.
7/ Placing the toaster on top of the fridge
Due to limited worktop space, we may be tempted to put the toaster on top of the fridge. However, this is the worst place for it. The toaster can damage the food in the fridge due to the principle of heat conservation. As the toaster takes 5 minutes to heat up and 30 minutes to cool down again, the temperature of the toaster impacts on the temperature of the fridge, and can increase the temperature of the foods inside it.
8/ Toasting something still in greaseproof paper
This practice can lead to forgetting about the greaseproof paper, and leaving it in the toaster. If you don’t remove it, it can burn and lead to fires. You need to be careful about what you put into the toaster.
9/ Toasting something that already has butter or jam on it
This is a bad idea, as the butter or jam can run off into the toaster, which can also cause fires. It is better to only use the toaster for bread or other bread based foods with nothing on them.