Thanksgiving is almost here and across the country, Americans are gearing up for one of the most spectacular feasts of the year. Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings family and friends together to share good food, conversation, and laughter. In the midst of all this festive activity, it’s important to remember that there are health hazards associated with the holiday, including an increased chance of food poisoning, kitchen fires, and travel incidents.
Taking just a few minutes to read these Thanksgiving safety tips could mean the difference between enjoying the holiday and having a turkey dinner end in disaster.
Following these food safety tips can keep any Thanksgiving meal safe from bacteria and keep your family and friends from getting sick:
- Safely cooking a turkey starts with correctly defrosting it; place your bird on a tray or pan to catch any juices and keep it refrigerated until it’s ready to cook.
- A 20-pound frozen turkey can take up to five days to thaw out so plan ahead.
- Turkeys need to be cooked to an internal temperate of 165 °F.
- Leftovers need to be refrigerated within two hours after serving.
The average number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving is triple that of a normal day. Here a few simple ways to avoid fires:
- “Stand by your pan” when cooking. Never leave food, grease, or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.
- Pot holders, oven mitts, food wrappers, and other things that can catch fire should be kept away from the stove.
- Children should also be kept away from hot stoves and paid particular attention to when they are in the kitchen.
- Facing pot handles towards the rear of the stove can save them from being knocked over and scalding people nearby.
- Long sleeves and loose clothing should be avoided while cooking as it can easily catch fire.
Thanksgiving Travel Safety
The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and with all the excitement travelers can become more focused on celebrations than getting to their destination as safely as possible. Following these travel tips will keep everyone safe on the road and in the air:
- An emergency road kit is important to have in case of a breakdown or accident.
- Ideally, travel outside of the heaviest days to avoid congestion – which are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward.
- Get your car road-ready and start your trip with a full tank of gas.
- Don’t be distracted. It’s illegal to text and drive in Massachusetts and drivers who text and drive are 23 times more likely to get into a crash than those who don’t.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- At airports, remember the 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons.
- Food items in your carry-on luggage must be in clear plastic bags and less than 3.4 ounces.
- Thanksgiving is the busiest time of the year at airports; packing smartly will help security lines move along quickly.
Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Let us know by commenting below or tweet us at @MassGov.
mass.gov weather tips
Tags: 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons, car road-ready, cooking fires, don't text and drive, emergency road kit, Fire safety, Food Poisoning, Football, leftovers, Road safety, safety tips, Stand by your pan, Thanksgiving, tradition, Turkey
Preventing Animal Homelessness in Massachusetts posted on Dec 22
Animal homelessness is an ongoing concern in Massachusetts. The Division of Animal Health offers programs and services that work to protect and control the number of homeless animals. The state hopes to bring this issue to light by spreading awareness and sharing information on the …Continue Reading Preventing Animal Homelessness in Massachusetts
Volunteering: Making a Difference in Massachusetts posted on Dec 18
Volunteering can be a satisfying and worthwhile experience for everyone. Donating your time, talent, and effort are small ways to make a significant difference in your community. Many volunteer opportunities exist throughout Massachusetts that enable you to get involved in your community and improve the …Continue Reading Volunteering: Making a Difference in Massachusetts
Safe Toys and Gifts for Children posted on Dec 17
Children love receiving gifts and presents around the holidays, and the excitement that comes from unwrapping a gift can fill a house with joy. While toys are meant to be fun and entertaining, they can pose several safety risks. In 2013 there were approximately 256,700 …Continue Reading Safe Toys and Gifts for Children