2010 Safety Tip
Everyone has traditions for
celebrating holidays. These traditions often include special food, decorations,
parties and guests. There are a few precautions we can take to ensure
an enjoyable and safe holiday season.
– Four basic food handling precautions can prevent food poisoning;
Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill.
- Clean –
Wash hands, surfaces and cooking utensils in hot soapy water after each
preparation step. Disinfect cutting boards ( don’t use wooden
cutting boards for raw meat) and counters with a solution of bleach
made by diluting regular household bleach( one ounce of bleach to nine
ounces of water). Spray the bleach solution on the surface and let it
set for one minute and then wash in hot soapy water.
- Separate -
Keep raw meat/poultry/ fish and their juices away from vegetables, breads
and desserts. Refrigerated raw meats should be stored in leak proof
containers in the refrigerator. Raw meats should be stored below prepared
food or fresh vegetable to prevent accidental contamination.
- Cook - Cook
food to the correct temperature. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature
in the thickest portion of the meat without touching the bone. Meat
should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 Deg F and
poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 185 Deg F. Many
cookbooks have temperature charts for various types of meats, poultry
and fish refer to these charts for details. When stuffing meat the temperature
of the stuffing must also reach a safe temperature, a minimum of 165
– foods should be refrigerated or frozen right away after shopping.
Food should be refrigerated until ready to prepare or cook. Leftover
food should be refrigerated within a couple of hours. The USDA (United
States Department of Agriculture food safety hotline can be found
Fire - The use
of candles, fire places, extension cords and lights for decoration contribute
to an increase in fires during the holiday season.
- Never leave
any open flame unattended, don’t use the fire place to burn wrapping
paper or wreaths or evergreens. These items can generate smoke and fumes
that are dangerous to your health or cause the fire to flare out of
- Candles should
be carefully placed so that they are not near combustible materials,
nor located where pets or children could knock them over or touch them.
- Lights and
lighted decoration should be rated by an independent testing laboratory,
like Under Writers Laboratory (UL). Care should be used when mounting
not to damage the wiring. Be sure all wiring and extension cords are
in good condition and rated for the purpose. Always turn lights and
lighted decorations off when leaving the house or before going to sleep.
- Use care when
emptying ashtrays to ensure that there are no smoldering cigarette or
Falls - Hanging
decorations and lights often requires the use of a ladder.
- Use good ladder
safety when using ladders for your decorations. This includes remembering
not to stand on the top two rungs of a step ladder and keeping your
belt buckle between the side rails of the ladder.
- When using
a straight ladder or extension ladder have at least three feet or three
rungs over the edge of the surface you will step on to, such as a roof.
- Remember to
have the correct angle to the ladder, bring the ladder out one foot
for every four feet of height.
- Never use aluminum
ladders near electricity, such as over power lines. Use a ladder or
step stool and not a chair, table or counter to gain the height needed
to hang decorations.
- Extension cords,
loose rugs or runners; changes in the layout of furniture or the addition
of items for decorating may create trip hazards that can result in falls.
Visitors may not be familiar with the house layout, so be sure to keep
travel pathways clear and well lighted.
- Provide nightlights
or flashlights for your guests to help them see where they are going
- Keep the fun
in the holidays plan ahead and manage the stress of the season by getting
plenty of rest and not doing more than is reasonable.
a safe and happy holiday season.
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