There are a lot of restaurants in Washington, and just about every house has a kitchen. But unfortunately, a lot of people do not understand the basics of safe knife handling. Failing to follow these essential kitchen knife safety tips can result in a nasty injury.

How to properly hold the knife

The key when holding a knife is to maximize control while minimizing the potential for cutting one of the fingers. Fine Cooking magazine advises that a cook holds the knife handle firmly in his or her dominant hand. The pinky, ring and middle finger should wrap around the handle while the index finger rests flat against the blade and hooked inward, while the thumb rests on the opposite side of the blade from the index finger.

Proper cutting technique

Cutco provides some more information about how to cut food in the safest possible manner. While using the above grip, the hand that holds the food should have the fingers curved inward in such a way that the flat of the blade rests against the knuckles as the knife is moved to cut. This maximizes control while keeping the fingertips out of the way.

Additional safety tips

While there is no one correct way to transport a knife across the kitchen, it is definitely advisable to not walk with the point of the blade sticking out. Covering the sharp parts by resting a hand or cutting board against the flat of the blade while moving can be a good way to prevent an accident. In any of the above situations, it is always good for cooks that have knives to communicate they have a sharp object whenever walking behind or past someone else in the kitchen.