Whether you’re featuring a traditional menu or taking the gourmet route, it’s important to observe all safety precautions before celebrating the feasts of all feasts: Thanksgiving.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 Americans get food poisoning annually and Thanksgiving is no exception. Some preventative measures include:
- Wash your hands, utensils, and cutting boards often when handling meats and veggies.
- Bacteria are often present in raw foods; fully cook meats and poultry and wash raw vegetables and fruits well.
- Foods that require refrigeration should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Be sure to discard contaminated or spoiled food immediately.
- If you suspect food poisoning, contact your local poison center or physician immediately, drink clear fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated, and do not self-administer medication unless instructed to do so.
More than 2,800 people die each year from choking and many of them are children:
- Keep small trimmings out of children’s reach.
- Avoid decorations that look like candy or food (they may tempt a child to eat them).
- Avoid sharp or breakable decorations if you have small children.
- Common holiday foods such as nuts or popcorn can cause choking to children under the age of 4.
Cooking fires are three times more likely to occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year:
- Always keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Keep pot handles turned away from the front of the stove and always keep the oven door closed.
- Never leave burning candles unattended.
- Don’t overload a range top with too many pots and pans.
- Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen.
- Never put a glass casserole or lid on the stovetop over a burner.
No matter what you’re eating during your Thanksgiving meal, take a minute and put safety at the top of your menu.