First of all, thanks to Matthew Pelletier of Compliance and Safety LLC for writing to remind us that it’s time once again to consider safety issues that families face during the holiday season, particularly on Thanksgiving. After all, lots of people here in Indiana and Illinois will begin their holidays tonight or tomorrow, as they travel to visit with family and friends and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with the traditional holiday feast scheduled this year for next Thursday, November 22, 2012.
From a personal injury lawyer perspective, we know all too well how even the most prudent and cautious person can still be seriously hurt or even killed by things beyond his or her control. Accidents and injuries resulting from the negligence of other people or companies happen every day, and innocents do perish from the intentional or grossly negligent actions of others.
It’s sad but true and still, we must do all we can as individuals to make sure that we are as safe and our loved ones are as secure as we can make them. Then, should that accident or injury occur, we will then take the steps necessary to insure justice is done. That’s the best anyone can ask of themselves given the state of things today with rising car accident death rates, product recalls, tainted and toxic food, distracted driving, and other dangers that we know exist – like driving along Indiana Highway 60, for example.
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
First, from Compliance and Safety, these safety tips regarding holiday food preparation:
- Wash your hands often. You come into contact with plenty of people, and you’re handling unusual things (it’s not every day you’re setting up the Christmas tree).
- Avoid cross-contamination; separate raw food from cooked food.
- Cook at the proper temperature.
- Thoroughly wash raw food (fruits and vegetables).
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly. Don’t leave perishable food out for more than a couple of hours.
- Thaw meat in the fridge, not the counter.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit sugary and alcoholic and fatty food intake.
- Stuff with care. If you’re stuffing a turkey or any other meat, prepare the stuffing and then insert it immediately and loosely. Whether it’s cooked inside or outside the main meat, be sure to cook it to at least 165 degrees F.
From the National Fire Prevention Association, tips regarding fire safety during Thanksgiving:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
- If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don’t offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.
- Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.
- Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.
- If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
- A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don’t allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.
- While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.
And finally, remember this: in Indiana, Operation Safe Family Travel begins tomorrow, November 16, 2012 and continues through December 2, 2012. From the Indiana State Police, these traveling safety tips:
- If you are planning to travel make sure you are well rested, a fatigued driver is a dangerous driver. Avoid tailgating; remember the two-second rule.
- Make sure everyone is buckled up.
- Put down the electronic devices and drive.
- DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
- MOVE OVER, SLOW DOWN for emergency and highway service vehicles.