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  • Celebrating Thanksgiving Safely

    Diverse friends and family celebrating Thanksgiving together around an abundance of food.The holiday season is fast upon us and Thanksgiving is only a few days away! Each year for the past five consecutive years, more than 50 million Americans have hit the road to travel to see their friends and families for Thanksgiving. The holiday brings with it plenty of joy and cheer – and let’s not forget, there is no shortage of delicious food, either – but it is still important to take a few precautions to ensure that you and your loved ones have safe and fun time. To help address the risks that Thanksgiving presents for celebrants nationwide, we compiled some useful tips on travelling safely, safe food handling, and ways to reduce the chances of a fire happening at home.

    Staying Safe on the Road

    No matter if you are hosting Thanksgiving at your house or heading to someone else’s home to ring in the holiday, you can expect some level of travel to occur. The roads are especially dangerous at this time of year, so it is critical to take some precautions. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that 43,000 to 68,000 Americans are involved in car accidents serious enough to warrant some degree of medical treatment during the Thanksgiving holiday period. This period runs between 6 p.m. on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving until 11:59 p.m. on the Sunday that follows the holiday. Here are some of the NSC’s tips on roadway safety:

    • Always wear a seat belt. Make sure that everyone else in the vehicle is safely buckled up or strapped in to a booster or car seat
    • To avoid getting stuck in traffic, leave early and take your time
    • Drowsy driving can be deadly. Get a good night’s sleep before your trip. If you are too tired or drowsy to drive, wait until you are well-rested
    • Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. You can designate a sober driver or hail a rideshare or taxi service to get home safely
    • Put away your cell phone and any other distractions (like food or drinks) away when you are behind the wheel
    • Always travel with an emergency preparedness kit in the vehicle and be prepared to encounter inclement weather
    • Brush up on your defensive driving tactics

    Fire Safety

    Of all other days of the year, Thanksgiving leads in house fires that involve cooking equipment. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments respond to more than 1,500 house calls on Thanksgiving day and night alone. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent a house fire from happening. Here are some tips from the NFPA:

    • Stay in the kitchen and keep an eye on all cooking food. Never leave something unattended on the stovetop
    • Stay in your home while cooking your turkey and be sure to check it often
    • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove
    • Prevent children from accessing hot foods and liquids
    • Keep knives and other sharp objects away from children
    • Safely store all matches and utility lighters in the home
    • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit candle
    • Be sure that electric cords (like coffee makers, plate warmers, and electric knives) do not dangle off the counter and that you keep them out of reach of children
    • Keep floors clear from clutter
    • Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working

    Safe Food Handling

    Holidays and food go hand-in-hand. To prevent foodborne illnesses and food poisoning this Thanksgiving, observe the following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

    • Keep foods separate from one another. Keep meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods at the grocery store and in the refrigerator. Prevent juices from rare meat, chicken, turkey, and seafood from dripping or leaking onto other foods by keeping them in containers or in sealed plastic bags. Store eggs in their original carton in the main compartment of the refrigerator
    • Cook food thoroughly. Meat, chicken, seafood, and eggs can carry germs that cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to ensure that food is cooked to a safe internal temperature
    • Keep foods out of the “danger zone”, which is 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit. After preparing your food, keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Otherwise, bacteria can grow rapidly. Refrigerate or freeze any perishable food within two hours (or one hour if food has been exposed to temperatures higher than 90 degrees, like if it was in a hot car)
    • Use pasteurized eggs for dishes that contain raw eggs to prevent the transmission of Salmonella and other harmful germs
    • Do not eat raw dough and/or batter
    • Thaw your turkey safely. Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water (change the water every 30 minutes), or in the microwave
    • Wash your hands with soap and water during key times when you are likely to get and spread germs, such as before, during, and after preparing food, before eating food, after handling pet food or touching pet treats, after using the toilet, after handling garbage, etc.

    From our team at Galfand Berger, we are wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

    Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947

    If you have a question about filing a legal claim, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

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