From travel to meal preparation, the Thanksgiving holiday can be full of sneaky safety situations! It’s easy to get distracted with our to-do lists and holiday plans, that sometimes safety situations go unnoticed, even on things we normally wouldn’t miss. Don’t let your schedule get too busy for safety — it’s the number one thing you need for an enjoyable holiday celebration.
According to the National Safety Council, here are tips and cautions for those traveling by road this Thanksgiving and holiday season:
Many people choose to travel by car during the holidays, which has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile. In 2017, 329 people died on New Year’s Day, 463 on Thanksgiving Day and 299 on Christmas Day, according to Injury Facts. Alcohol impairment was involved in about a third of the fatalities.
Stay safe on the roads over the holidays and every day:
- Prepare your car for winter and keep an emergency preparedness kit with you
- Get a good night’s sleep before departing and avoid drowsy driving
- Leave early, planning ahead for heavy traffic
- Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly buckled up no matter how long or short the distance traveled
- Put that cell phone away; many distractions occur while driving, but cell phones are the main culprit
- Practice defensive driving
- Designate a sober driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a holiday party; alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drugs can cause impairment
Looking forward to all your Thanksgiving favorites? … Aunt Mary’s famous pumpkin pie, Grandma’s sweet potatoes and the homemade dressing (or stuffing – that’s a while other discussion for another blog!) While many people have seen the warning videos about deep frying your turkey, there are still many other kitchen hazards and meal preparation safety situations to keep in mind.
According to the National Safety Council, here are tips and cautions as you prepare your delicious holiday meal:
Be alert to the dangers if you’re thinking of celebrating the holidays by frying a turkey. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 154 turkey-fryer related fires, burns or other injuries since 2004, with $5.2 million in property damage losses have resulted from these incidents.
NSC discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider using an oil-less turkey fryer. If you must fry your own turkey, follow all U.S. Fire Administration turkey fryer guidelines.
Food Poisoning Is No Joke
Keep your holidays happy by handling food safely. The foodsafety.gov website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some valuable holiday food safety tips:
- Wash your hands frequently when handling food
- Keep raw meat away from fresh produce
- Use separate cutting boards, plate and utensils for uncooked and cooked meats to avoid cross-contamination
- Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
- Refrigerate hot or cold leftover food within two hours of being served
- When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly
- Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for three to four days when properly refrigerated
Watch this holiday food safety video for more information.
You can view these and more great tips from the National Safety Council here.