From Travel to Food Prep: Thanksgiving Safety Tips
November 19th, 2018 by Wapner Newman
Thanksgiving holds the honor of kicking off the busy end-of-year celebrating and shopping season. Not only is the fourth Thursday of the month a treat for adults and kids all over the country, but it’s one of the busiest travel periods. In fact, AAA is forecasting no fewer than 54 million people will hit the roads and skies to make it to their feasts in time. That’s the biggest cohort of travelers in more than a decade.
Not surprisingly, most people focus their attention on getting from place to place and not gaining too much weight during this hectic holiday. They’re concentrating not on safety, but on spending time with family and staying on budget during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday sales. However, everyone in Philadelphia and beyond needs to keep a few tips in mind to ensure they remain protected and healthy throughout the long weekend.
Safer Holiday Recipe Hacks
As U.S. News and World Report noted in 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly hears about an uptick in emergency room visits around Thanksgiving. Aside from ordinary bumps, bruises, and breaks, nurses and doctors routinely treat patients with cases of food poisoning and burns from hot foods and appliances. Plus, with the increased use of deep fryers to make turkey preparation faster, plenty of people are getting sick or hurt on Thanksgiving Day.
The best way to keep yourself from needing a quick ride to the nearest urgent care facility is to always practice the highest standards of food safety. First, make sure you learn how to properly thaw and cook a turkey if you’re serving the bird of choice as the dinner centerpiece. Never add stuffing into the cavity. Instead, opt to cook the stuffing–or dressing, if you prefer–in a different pan. This lessens the likelihood of food poisoning.
Next, cook every dish to completion. Buy a meat thermometer to ensure that item that comes out of the oven or deep fryer has been cooked to perfection. Undercooking can end in sickness, and for those with compromised immune systems, food poisoning can be fatal.
Finally, put away uneaten food immediately within two hours of sitting at room temperature, per recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture. Don’t allow items to sit on a table for hours while everyone “picks.” You and your guests can easily make up second or third plates by removing dishes from the refrigerator and reheating the dishes.
Pro Travel Hints
Will you be spending time in your car or on public transportation en route to your Thanksgiving destination? If you’re using your own vehicle, inspect it beforehand. Inflate the tires to proper PSI levels, and check the oil. Be sure that you have an emergency kit stowed in the trunk, per FEMA’s guidelines. Taking just 30 minutes could save you time and money, especially if you prevent a breakdown or blowout. Oh, and always check your favorite weather app to see if Mother Nature has thrown everyone a curveball. While you might not want to miss your grandmother’s yearly Lancaster, Willow Grove, or Bensalem Thanksgiving feast, significant snow is a good reason to wait a day and enjoy leftovers instead.
Going to be in a busy airport or Amtrak train station as part of your Thanksgiving mad dash from pillar to post? Pack as lightly as possible to make getting through the crowds a bit easier. Although it can be tempting to bring along dozens of gifts for relatives and friends, put the temptation aside. You can always send the presents later. They’ll only become a burden when you’re navigating long lines or running to catch a connection. Can’t think of arriving without something in hand? Bring gift cards for your loved ones instead of packages, or plan to buy something when you arrive at your destination.
Making Happy Thanksgiving Memories
Every Thanksgiving is a new opportunity to make wonderful memories and share fun moments with the people in your life. Put aside a bit of time to plan for safety in advance, and you’ll be more apt to look back on Thanksgiving 2018 with fondness.
Dealing with the stress and concerns of a personal injury case during the holidays? Contact Wapner Newman for a free consultation to discuss your situation.