Wishing You and Your family
a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving

Turkey

  • Eating undercooked turkey is another hazard.  If a turkey is thawed above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, salmonella or other bacteria that cause food poisoning can grow.
  • Safe defrosting is the first step towards safely preparing a turkey dinner.  The turkey can be thawed in the refrigerator - one day for every 5 pounds of the bird.  It can also be submerged in water if it is in a leak-proof packaging - 30 minutes for every pound.  The water should be changed every half hour for this method.  And lastly, it is also safe to defrost a turkey using a microwave, provided you remove any packaging and follow the manufacturer's instructions.  With all three methods, it is important to cook the turkey immediately after thawing.
  • Check the temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure the turkey is done.  It needs to be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (and the stuffing too).

Choking

The most common cause of choking is talking while eating.  If a person is unable to cough, breathe or speak, the first thing to do is call 911.  Next, The Red Cross recommends a technique called FIVE-and-FIVE for choking victims.

  • The first step is to lean the person forward and give the victim five sharp blows on the back, using the heel of the hand.  If the obstruction is not dislodged by this move, the next step is to give the victim five quick, upward abdominal thrusts.
  • Some people run from the table when they begin to choke.  It is important to stay with other people so that they may give assistance, if needed. 
  • If the victim is alone, he or she can perform the five abdominal thrusts using his hand or by pressing their abdomen firmly against the back of a chair.

Leftovers

Eating Thanksgiving leftovers that have been improperly stored can lead to food poisoning. 

  • Leftovers need to be put away within 2 hours after serving. 
  • Leftovers should be placed in the refrigerator if they are going to be eaten within 3-days, otherwise they should go in the freezer. 
  • Food should be stored in shallow containers and meat should be removed from the bone before storage.
  • Reheated leftovers should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pets

Thanksgiving brings health hazards to dogs and other pets as well as humans. 

  • Do not give turkey bones to dogs.  Turkey bones and other bird bones are hollow, which makes them likely to splinter.  This could cause tears in the animal's esophagus, stomach or intestines.
  • Fatty holiday foods, such as turkey and gravy, can contribute to pancreatitis.  More pets are brought to the local vet for pancreatitis (signs include abdominal discomfort, rolling on the floor in pain and lack of desire to eat) during the holidays than any time of the year.
  • Be careful about leaving chocolate out.  Children may also mistakingly drop chocolate on the floor and not pick it up.  Keep in mind that chocolate may cause illness or death in dogs.  In addition, dogs shouldn't be fed grapes, raisins, onions, alcohol or anything with caffeine.
  • Dogs tend to get excited when there are lots of people in the house.  When they are excited, they often eat too quickly.  This can lead to bloating, a very dangerous condition where too much oxygen is ingested during their meal and becomes trapped in the digestive system.  Feed your dogs before guests arrive and don't let them be too active before or after eating.

Burns

Even with the best preparation and precautions, accidents can happen.  Thanksgiving is notorious for cooking-related burns. 

  • Minor burns can be treated easily by immediately cooling the area under cold water until the heat eases and then loosely covering the burn with a sterile dressing. 
  • Severe burns should be treated by medical professionals.

Just because we take a break from dieting on Thanksgiving, doesn't mean we can throw caution to the autumn winds.  Remember these suggestions from Brownstone Insurance and have a happy and safe holiday!