How to Handle Cooking Dangers

Cooking can be fun, but it’s full of hidden dangers. Mishandling a sharp knife can be disastrous and undercooked chicken can be riddled with salmonella. Fires can also run rampant in a kitchen if a gas stove gets a little out of hand. Dealing with a grease fire is a lot different from any other types of fire. If you find yourself dealing with a grease fire, follow these steps to keep yourself and those around you safe!

  • Immediately cover the flaming pot or pan.

A fire cannot spread if it’s contained in a controlled environment. Covering the fire helps keep the size of the fire to a minimum.

  • Turn off the source off the heat.

It seems obvious, but a lot of people panic when the fire starts and forget to turn off the stove. If you cut off the gas quickly you’ll minimize the amount of a fuel that can feed the fire.

  • Use the appropriate materials to extinguish the fire.

Small fires can be extinguished using baking soda or salt. If it’s a larger fire, a Class B fire extinguisher can be used to put out the flames. Contrary to popular belief, flour should never be used to put out a grease fire. The chemical makeup of flour will actually worsen the flame. Also, water shouldn’t be used to smother the flames either.

  • Don’t try and move the pot or pan.

Once your adrenaline starts pumping, it might be tempting to try and move the flaming pot or pan. If you do this, you’re likely just spreading the fire around and putting yourself in much closer proximity to it than you need to. Leave the pots where they are and focus on putting the fire out, or getting yourself to safety.

  • Know when to call it quits.

If all else fails, immediately leave the area and call 911. The fire department has the proper equipment to deal with fires and can secure the area.

If you work in a restaurant, stoves that see a lot of action likely get bits of grease splattered on them. These stoves should be cleaned regularly and have a maintenance schedule to keep them up and working properly. Sometimes, a negligent owner will fail to keep this equipment running up to code. If you find yourself dealing with a severe burn caused by a negligent boss, contact an attorney like those at Hammack Law Firm. They can help get your medical expenses and lost wages covered during your time in the hospital. If your place of work fails to keep their employees safe, you don’t deserve to suffer on their behalf. A restaurant-sized stove can create flames that spread faster than wildfire, and there’s only so much you can do before it overtakes you. If you get injured as a result of a faulty machine, be sure to get an attorney that will keep your best interests at heart while you recover.

Qualifying for a Green Card

I was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. I’ve always been a citizen of the United States. The friends I grew up with would sometimes mention that they just got their green card, or that their parents had just received their green card. I never paid too much attention to this, but as I’ve grown up and become more aware of the geopolitical environment I’ve realized that getting a green card is a big deal. You have to meet certain qualifications and you also have to go through an incredibly lengthy process. For many of my friends growing up, they were not native English speakers and they were unfamiliar with the legal systems in the United States. This made the process stressful and scary for them and their parents alike. I wanted to see if there was anyone who worked to help these people, and I found out about the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC. The attorneys at this firm work to help people get their green cards by walking them through the application process and making sure that no mistakes are made while filling out paperwork. The United States Department of Homeland Security takes green cards very seriously, and an honest mistake could end up costing you the ability to ever get a green card.

There are several different ways that you can be qualified for a green card. You only have to fit into one of these categories to begin the process for a green card and eventually citizenship.

You can get a green card through family relation. If you are the child of a U.S. citizen, the parent of a citizen that is over 21 years old, or married to a U.S. citizen, then you’re qualified. This also extends out a bit. If your brother or sister over 21 is a citizen or if your son- or daughter-in-law is a citizen, you may apply.

Another popular way that people become U.S. citizens is through employment. There are actually three preference levels delineated by the government. First preference level will grant more likely access to a green card. First preference immigration workers are defined as: having keen ability in education, business, arts, sciences, are an established researcher or professor, are an executive or multinational manager that meets certain other criteria. Second preference immigration workers are people that: are of a profession that requires an advanced degree, have great ability in business, arts or sciences, or are applying for a national interest waiver. The third preference level is for people that: are a professional, which means that their job requires a U.S. bachelor’s degree or an overseas equivalent, or are a skilled worker, which means that your job has a minimum requirement of 2 years training or experience.

There are many other ways to meet the qualifications to obtain a green card, but these are by far the most popular. If you’re thinking about applying, I would definitely do research to see how you may be qualified. If you feel that you may be unqualified, try reaching out to an attorney! They know the law in and out, and they can work to find a place for you in this country.

Assault and Battery in South Carolina

The law has continued to expand on elements of assault and what constitutes criminal charges for bad behavior. If you’ve been handed an assault charge recently, here are some questions you might have and an idea of what you can expect:

What is assault?

Most people think that assault charges only apply to an aggressive person who was willfully and intentionally injured another person. However, assault charges are broadly applied to any type of behavior that may seem threatening to another individual, such as lifting up a fist to attack them and causing them to flinch. Whether or not you actually come into physical contact with that person, if they feared you might have had the intention to harm them, they may bring charges of assault against you. Other types of assault, such as intoxicated assault, can be applied to intoxicated drivers that harmed another person in a car accident. Even though the injury was brought upon by an accident instead of a something like a bar fight, the assault charge is still a felony.

What is assault and battery?

Some states may distinguish between these two charges, but not in South Carolina. Assault and battery is a single charge that can be distinguished as high and aggravated nature, 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree charges, and each one has its own requirements and punishments. 2nd and 3rd degree assault and battery charges are only misdemeanors, while HAN and 1st degree are classified as felonies.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is different than sexual harassment because it includes an element of physical contact, such as unwanted kissing, groping, or any form of sexual activity. However, like other forms of assault, the most important aspect is the perception of the victim. If they feel as though they were placed in a threatening or compromised position where the attacker could have continued with their sexual assault, then physical contact is not necessary to press charges.

Extenuating Circumstances

Assault charges can become complicated, especially when there is a history of conflict between the defendant and the plaintiff. When tempers boil over, things can quickly escalate, leading to a various charges of assault and battery. To address this complexity, the courts assign varying degrees of seriousness to each type of charge. If the assault occurred during another criminal act, such as a robbery, then the charge is much more serious. This is also true for premeditated acts of violence, such as staging an ambush for the victim. Charges that result from an intoxicated fight may be reduced to a lesser sentence if your attorney can prove that the act was a crime of passion. If you were driving a car while intoxicated and caused a serious accident, the charge may be increased to more severe penalty. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with a legal professional as soon as charges of assault are brought against you. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer will help protect your rights.

The Pros and Cons of Oversharing on Social Media

Social media is a great avenue to express yourself through stories and photos. It’s a great way to connect with colleagues and publicize information about good news or ask for support. However, some users and most social media platforms provide the option to “privatize” yourself from certain groups or people in your life. Whenever someone gets is in the middle of a criminal defense case, what role does social media play? Can the information you write online be used against you in a court of law? What role should you take in publicizing or privatizing?

Every year, millions of users share numerous links, photos and articles with the world through popular social media platforms like  Facebook and Instagram. As one would expect, that information can be used against them in a court of law. The evidence may be as simple as a conversation or as complex as a multitude of images and videos of the actual crimes taking place. It is simple for authorities to come across such evidence, and can command the platforms to hand over whatever evidence they have. However, if you are a criminal defendant, it’s a different story.

According to the article on Cal Lawyer, a California lawyer resource website, a defendant looking for information that is saved on social media sites faces a lot of obstacles. The Stored Communications Act has rules for companies like Facebook that keep them from providing the user’s information to others without the owner’s permission. Challenges to this have been brought to California federal courts. Facebook argued that it was unconstitutional and that they were denied the right to confront the witnesses that are being used to corroborate the case. They believed that the stored communications act does not give the defendants access to important information that could help their case. Unfortunately, they did not win their battle in appeals court, which denied the defendants’ argument. Another court case, Number One v. Superior Court, may bring some light on the subject and give criminal defendants hope of obtaining social media information from third parties. Unless a criminal defendant succeeds with a challenge based on Juror Number One’s compelled consent rationale, the plain language of the SCA leaves criminal defendants’ pretrial ability to obtain critical exculpatory social media information in the sole discretion of the government.

It may be safe to privatize your account if you have charges against you or to delete content as soon as possible. It is important to be careful when it comes to what you post on social media. While we are sharing it with others, this information is not entirely publicized and questions the rights of what we put into the virtual world. In most cases, social media posts can frame or injure people by claiming these “drunk photos posted on social media” reflect the person’s declining behavior and reasons why they are irresponsible and guilty. It’s important to be sure you are not oversharing on social media, in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

Leftover Bread Brewed Into Craft Beer?

Craft beer is finding its way into many streets and cities as part of recreational drinking and apartment buildings. Companies like Growler Chill are even helping private residents keep their beer from going bad quickly with personal countertop taps. Festivals now celebrate craft beer festivals and competitions. In the United Kingdom, nearly 1.1 million tons of bread are wasted on an annual basis, which, if stacked together would equal almost three Empire State buildings!  Toast Ale is a new brewery that is looking to end the bread waste by turning the loaves that would have otherwise gone to waste into delicious craft beers. 

According to How Stuff Works, there is approximately one slice of bread in each and every bottle of beer.   Since their launch in the UK in 2016, Toast Ale brewmasters say that they have used 11 tons of bread that would have otherwise been wasted in landfills. This past July, Toast Ale has made the decision to expand to the US where estimates show that nearly 40% of all food that is processed and packaged eventually finds its way to the trash. By next year, Toast Ale will save about 12 tons of bread per year in New York City alone. Their mission is to prevent all food from being wasted, which will be a difficult process.

The team at Toasted Ale found inspiration after a trip to Belgium, where they discovered a beer made from bread, based on a 7,000 year old practice. The idea of using bread that would otherwise be wasted appealed to the team, and they set forth a plan to put in sustainable environmental practices and social solutions to their new beer-making business. They wanted to make sure to put an entire slice of bread in every bottle and also ensure that their product was top-of-the-line when it came to quality. The brewmasters at Babylone (the beer that they discovered in Belgium) quickly agreed to partner with Toast Ale, and they were not afraid to share their recipe with their new partners. The difference between their recipe and normal beer? The bread that is put into the recipe replaces one-third of the malted barley that is usually used in the brewing process.

Because bread can quickly go stale and flour is relatively cheap, bread is often wasted by grocery stores, manufacturers, and consumers. Because day-old bread does not sell and can easily be replaced by a fresh loaf, much of the bread that is baked goes to waste in landfills. Excess bread may go to chickens or the homeless, but it is often wasted and thrown away.

 

While Toast Ale has a great message in mind, I think it helps remind beer enthusiasts to be mindful of what they eat or buy. While it would be near impossible to stop production and demand of bread, Toast Ale would no longer be in business if people wasted less bread. Would this be effective in truly having people be more conscious about their food wastes?