Staying safe through the holidays

The holiday season is here! We’re all thinking of gifts and holiday food, but it’s important to keep safety top of mind for your team – at work or at home.

Potential hazards are all around us during this time of celebration, so we’ve compiled some tips to keep your team safe and ready to return to work after much-needed time with family.

The top safety hazards during the Thanksgiving holiday involve the kitchen. These include:

FOOD – proper food safety, cuts/burns during food preparation, or choking incidents
FIRE – outdoor deep fryers, candles left lit, or fires in the kitchen

Knowing these hazards, what are some things you can do to prevent them?

Food Safety

If you are traveling with food, keep hot foods hot (140°F or higher) by wrapping them in foil, and then in heavy towels. Keep cold foods cold (40°F or lower) by placing them in a cooler with ice or freezer packs or an insulated container with a cold pack designed to keep food cold.

Upon arrival to your destination, be sure to place cold foods in the refrigerator and hot foods in an oven, to maintain the internal temperature of 140°F or above – and don’t be afraid to pull out the food thermometer to be sure!

While cooking any meats, don’t guess – know the safe cooking temperatures for each. Use this safe cooking temperatures chart as a reference before and during your preparations.

Fire and Kitchen Safety

Keeping your home fire and smoke free is easy with a few best practices. Follow these tips to prevent a disaster:

  • Start out with a clean oven and stove. Remove any debris that could be a smoke or fire starter.
  • Set a timer for the items you are cooking.
  • Don’t leave the kitchen or home while cooking.
  • Keep children away from the stove and ovens.
  • Check your smoke detectors to ensure they are in good working order.

If you are frying a turkey this year, NEVER do so indoors. You should read all the directions on the fryer prior to cooking and follow these extra safety precautions found here.

Like we say at OHC, prevention is better than the cure – even at home. A few easy-to-follow steps can mean the difference between a safe celebration and serious injuries.

Learn more at these resources:

Safe Cooking Temperatures
Thanksgiving Holiday Fire Safety
Traveling with Food

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