Handling Hot Peppers

Chiles, such as jalapenos, habaneros, and serranos, contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes. Avoid direct contact with them as much as possible.

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  • When working with fresh chiles, wear rubber gloves or disposable plastic gloves, or cover your hands with small plastic bags.
  • If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and hot water. If you get some of the oils in your eyes, flush them with cool water.
  • Oils from chiles can transfer to knives and cutting surfaces, so wash tools and surfaces with hot, soapy water after use to prevent the oils from transferring to other foods.

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