Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends; enjoy a holiday feast; and reflect on what you are thankful for. Thanksgiving is also the busiest travel weekend of the year in the US. Please consider the following tips when enjoying your Thanksgiving this year.
Thanksgiving Dinner Safety:
- Thaw the turkey in a refrigerator in advance rather than at room temperature. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria. Allow one day of thawing for every five pounds of turkey
- Before and after handling raw poultry, wash your hands thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap. Have designated cutting boards, pans and utensils for turkey preparation. This prevents cross-contamination between foods.
- Be sure the turkey is completely cooked (no remaining pink meat) before serving.
- Closely supervise any young children who may be in the kitchen. Perhaps prepare an activity for them ahead of time to keep them busy and out of the kitchen during meal preparation.
- Do not leave food unattended during preparation. If you have to temporarily leave the kitchen, turn off all burners or have someone supervise while you are gone.
- Always have a fire extinguisher close at hand.
- In case of a burn, run cold water over the burnt skin and dress it with a sterile dressing.
- If you choose to decorate your table with candles, be sure they are set in a clear area on the table. Extinguish candles even when leaving the room, even for a brief moment.
- Do not give leftover turkey bones to family pets. Poultry bones are hallow, which can cause animals to choke.
- Immediately store all leftovers in sealed containers in a refrigerator.
Thanksgiving Travel Safety
- Rather than traveling with cash; use travelers’ checks and credit cards.
- Pack minimal valuables.
- Do not put all money and forms of ID in one location. Spread them out in case anything is lost or stolen.
- For road travel, be sure to have on hand: road flares, flashlight, first-aid kit, tool kit and cell phone. If traveling through a cold area, pack extra coats, blankets, socks, hats, gloves and anything else to keep warm in case you become stranded.
- Check all car fluids before beginning your journey.
- Have maps of the area in case a detour is necessary.
- Make sure someone knows where you are going, when you are leaving and when you will return.
- As always, obey all traffic rules. Give yourself plenty of travel time to avoid speeding..
Sources: American Red Cross; Illinois Department of Health; The American Association of Safety Councils