Hmm…I wonder what would happen if I swallowed a too-big chunk of that juicy steak?
Photo taken from wikipedia
Choking could happen, especially for young children and people who tend wolf down their food like there is no tomorrow. You may know what to do during choking incidents, however, prevention is your first line of defense. Why suffer if you can prevent it, right?
Here are some preventive measure you can take to avoid choking (taken from my book Home Chef’s Kitchen Medical Emergency Guide):
Either don’t eat or be observant of how you are eating if you are drunk, inebriated or have had a lot of alcohol. Choking on a juicy, man-sized chunk of T-bone or New York strip steak is a classic that all restaurateurs are familiar with.
Don’t talk or laugh with your mouth stuffed full of food.
Make sure you cut your food, particularly hard or firm items into small or smallish pieces.
Be sure to adequately chew the food in your mouth. If you need to make it softer, masticate it with a small sip of water, wine or other beverage.
Take your time. Eating is to be enjoyed. Right? Savor your meal, the texture, the spices or herbs, the seasonings, the aroma. Don’t eat rapidly, and certainly don’t bolt or wolf down big chunks of food. It’s bad for your digestion, it ruins the fine dining experience, and you may choke.
Refrain from wearing loose or dangling clothing while cooking in the kitchen. It’s advisable you remove neckties, scarves and dangling jewelry.
Always wear an apron or toque when preparing large meals.
Practice the movements of the Heimlich maneuver (illustration in THCKMEG) with a family member or friend, to get the feel of it.