Preparing for a Safe Thanksgiving Gathering
Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. Family members spend time together and reconnect. Whether you’re hosting this holiday or traveling to visit loved ones, there are a few concerns to keep your family safe. Here are tips to boost safety this Thanksgiving.
Traveling Safety Tips
If you’re traveling to visit family or friends for Thanksgiving, there are some things you can do to stay safe on the road. Before leaving home, make sure your vehicle is in good working order. This means having fresh oil, good tires, and enough gas to get where you’re going. Plan your route ahead of time, taking into account traffic patterns and weather conditions. Have a backup route in mind in case an accident or bad weather interferes with your trip. And finally, take breaks every few hours so you can stay rested and alert behind the wheel. Stop at rest areas to allow the kids to stretch their legs.
Whether you’re traveling for several hours or only a few blocks, have a plan if alcohol is served at your family Thanksgiving. Don’t drink and drive. Prepare a guest room or arrange a ride in case too much wine is consumed with dinner.
Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips
If you’re cooking for your family, always wash your hands before getting started. Here are a few tips to improve food safety.
- Start preparing the food early so it has plenty of time to cook thoroughly. Avoid rushing, as this can lead to food being undercooked or overcooked.
- Pay close attention to food safety when handling raw turkey or other meat. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after touching raw animal products, and cook poultry to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill harmful bacteria.
- Be careful not to cross-contaminate food. Keep raw meat away from cooked food and use separate cutting boards and utensils for each.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold by storing them properly before serving.
Kitchen Safety at Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is about family and food, but there are some safety concerns to keep in mind when preparing your feast.
- As you work, clean up spills immediately. It may seem easier to do a final clean-up before serving dinner, but spilled ingredients can lead to slips and accidents in the kitchen. Take a moment to wipe up spills as you cook.
- Keep children and pets out of the kitchen. Have another responsible adult present to watch kids and pets so family members working in the kitchen can do so safely.
Following these simple tips, you can have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy time with your loved ones and delicious food. And most importantly, don’t forget to give thanks for the good things in your life.