Monday, November 25, 2013

Keep your Family and Friends Safe this Thanksgiving!

On Thanksgiving, we hustle and bustle to prepare a delicious and memorable meal for our visiting family and friends.  With the added stress and business the holiday brings, often times we end up with accidental poisonings.  Spend quality time with your family and friends this Thanksgiving in the comfort of your home instead of in a hospital room.  To prevent anyone being poisoned this Thanksgiving, follow these steps:

To prevent food poisoning:

  • Wash hands with soap and warm running water for at least 15 to 20 seconds before preparing any foods and especially after handling raw meat, poultry, fish or eggs.
  • Keep preparation and storage areas clean; this includes countertops, stovetops and refrigerators.
  • Wash utensils between each use. Never reuse utensils; this is a source of contamination.
  • Do not defrost meat or poultry on the counter at room temperature. Thaw it in the refrigerator or microwave instead.
  • Use a meat thermometer to confirm that meat, pork and poultry are properly cooked; visit for proper temperatures.
  • Do not prepare food if you are sick or have any type of nose or eye infection.
  • Store raw food below cooked food in the refrigerator so raw food cannot drip into cooked food and contaminate it.
  • Use separate cutting boards for meats, poultry and fish.  
  • Ensure leftovers will be just as good the next day, properly seal and store food in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Leaving perishable foods, such as meats and dairy products, out longer than two hours significantly increases the risk of food poisoning.
  • When in doubt…throw it out!
To prevent other poisonings:

·         Designate a safe place for visitors to place all of their belongings, so that curious children do not stumble upon medications or other dangers in a loved one’s purse or bag.
·         When sharing holiday spirits, ensure all alcoholic beverages are stored away from children.  Alcohol poisoning to a child can be fatal!
·         Don’t forget about your pets!  Our little furry friends can get into trouble when rummaging for goodies in the trash and other places throughout the house.

If you have questions about Thanksgiving poison dangers or any other poison exposure, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 for free, expert advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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