Information on the Preparing food Section of PIPThis activity looks your ability to prepare a simple one course meal from fresh ingredients. 

Questions relevant to sight loss

The legal tests are:

Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to either prepare or cook a simple meal.

Points: 2

Cannot cook a simple meal using a conventional cooker but is able to do so using a microwave.

Points: 2

Needs supervision or assistance to either prepare or cook a simple meal.

Points: 4

More information to help you answer the questions

This activity assesses your ability to open packaging, serve food, peel and chop food and use a microwave oven or cooker hob to cook or heat food. Carrying items around the kitchen is not included in this activity.

Cooking food means heating food at above waist height – for example, using a microwave oven or on a cooker hob. It does not consider the ability to bend down – for example, to access an oven.

Serving food means transferring food on to a plate or bowl. It does not involve carrying food to where it will be eaten.

If you can peel and chop with the use of an aid you will score 2 points.

If you use pre-chopped vegetables because you cannot peel and chop even with an aid, you will need assistance to prepare a simple meal and so score 4 points.

Top tips

When answering the questions think about –

  • What aids do you use to help you cook? Bumpons on your kitchen equipment? A liquid level indicator? Adapted chopping boards? Electric chopper?  Fingerguard (to protect your fingers when chopping) Anything else?
  • Can you tell if a food item has gone stale?
  • Can you cook safely?  Have you cut yourself or burnt yourself in the past?
  • Are you able to open cans using the pull ring or a standard can opener?
  • Do you need someone to help you to prepare or cook food?  What do they do?
  • Do you have to use ready meals or pre-chopped vegetables?
  • Does someone have to be in the kitchen with you?  What do they do?
  • Can you safely move items into and out of the oven or microwave? Do you need to wear long oven gloves or use guards to protect yourself?
  • Do you need help with reading instructions and sell by dates?
  • Can you tell when water in a pan is boiling? Or do you need to use a boil alert?
  • Can you cope with hot pans?
  • Can you use a cooker hob safely?
  • Can you tell where to place your pans on the hob?
  • Do you need help to know when food is cooked?
  • Do you have to rely on timings rather than visual information to estimate when food is cooked?
  • Do you rely on non visual information to tell whether the hob is on or off (e.g. listening to the gas or feeling the dials for the hob)?

You should put your answers to these questions in the section on the form called "Extra information".

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