Chiles, Handling Fresh

When handling fresh chiles, it is a good idea to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands against capsaicin, the potent chemical in chiles responsible for their heat.

Another method of protecting your hands is to rub your fingers with vegetable oil before handling chiles; doing so helps prevent the capsaicin from penetrating the skin.

In any event be very careful not to touch your eyes or face when working with chiles, and always wash you hands thoroughly afterwards.

You can neutralize capsaicin on your fingers by washing them in a mixture of 1 quart water and 1 tablespoon of bleach.