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Safety Tips for Food Handling this Holiday Season
ELI5: Negligence

Are you the type to sample a spoonful of cookie dough and then continue stirring the dough with the same spoon you just licked? Or, perhaps you’re the type of person who prepares a delicious casserole for the church potluck—one you didn’t wash your hands before preparing. Maybe you’re the grill master who isn’t quite sure when the meat’s cooked, but nothing bad has happened yet so there’s no need to invest in a meat thermometer, right? Well, if any of the aforementioned describes you, please change your ways before handling food this holiday season.

Check for Allergens

If you, or anyone else in your family, or one of your guests has food allergies, make sure you’re keeping this in mind during your holiday meal preparations. The most common food allergens are milk, eggs, nuts, wheat (or gluten), soy, fish, and sesame. If you’ve got bowls of candy at your Halloween party, and you know there are nuts in some of those candies, you may want to put a sign next to those candies. This is especially true if the risk isn’t obvious. For example, your guests probably know that the rolls at your potluck aren’t gluten free. However, if your party punch isn’t gluten free, that’s a little less intuitive, and probably should be marked.

Prevent Contamination

COVID-19 is still a thing, and there’s also the seasonal flu, and your own nasty germs. If you’re cooking, please wash your hands before you begin, and frequently during. This is especially true if you’ve just gone to the bathroom, or just taken your dog to the bathroom. If you’re feeling the need to sample that delicious cookie dough, make sure you don’t put the spoon back in the dough after you’ve put the spoon in your mouth. Though most people will survive having the flu, the flu can be deadly for immunocompromised people. The same is true when it comes to COVID-19. Washing your hands before handling food can prevent you from spreading disease. Other diseases are food-borne. If you are handling raw chicken wings, for example, make sure you wash your hands after putting them in the fryer. This will help keep any potential salmonella from spreading from the wings to the homemade buttermilk ranch. You can also wear gloves. If you have long hair, you should have your hair tied back in a ponytail.

Cook Meats Thoroughly

Cook all meats thoroughly. The best way to ensure your meats are cooked thoroughly is to invest in a meat thermometer and cook your meat until the proper internal temperature is reached. Be aware that the proper internal temperature varies from meat to meat. And the signs that your chicken is thoroughly cooked are different from the signs that your hamburger is fully cooked. Though consuming uncooked meat can always be a risk, certain animals should never be consumed raw. Any type of pork should be carefully prepared, as raw pork can carry serious diseases. It’s also important to remember that meat can cook unevenly. Therefore, it’s important to measure the meat’s temperature by sticking the thermometer in the right spot (pro tip: not right at the edge).

Supervise Children in the Kitchen

Children should always be supervised when in the kitchen. Do not allow small children to climb on countertops, or sit upon countertops. Furthermore, young children should not handle machinery such as hand mixers or food processors. Obviously, young children should not be handling knives or other sharp objects in the kitchen either. Young children also need to be kept away from ovens, stove tops, griddles, and other sources of heat. If you’ve just taken a pie, or other baked dish from the oven, it should cool in a place where young children are unable to reach it. If older children are helping you cook, they need to be supervised—especially if they’re using knives, or machinery such as hand mixers.

Watch What You’re Feeding Your Pet

Your dog has been a very good boy—or girl—this year. Thus, it’s totally a good idea to give them this ham bone from the Christmas ham, the bones of the chicken wings from Kickoff, or a big bone from the Thanksgiving turkey—right? Well, maybe not. Cooked bones pose a danger to dogs as the bones are more likely to splinter and injure the dog internally. Though uncooked bones are less likely to splinter, it’s still a possibility, especially for poultry bones. Even some commercial bones can pose a choking hazard to your furry friend. Make sure you offer the goodest boy, or the goodest girl, bones that are safe for them. There’s a lot of cooking going on during the holidays. There’s football get togethers on Sundays, Halloween parties, Thanksgiving parties, and Christmas parties. With all this going on, your pet probably thinks it’s the most wonderful time of the year too. However, when you’re “accidentally” dropping samples for them, make sure it’s stuff they can safely have. 

 

If You’ve Been Injured

If you’ve been injured during this holiday season, and you need compensation for your injury related expenses, contact Moxie Law Group today for a free consultation. At Moxie Law Group, we believe everyone should have access to the legal advice they need to determine whether or not they should file a claim. If, after your free consultation, you decide to work with us, you won’t pay us anything until you get the compensation you deserve. If you lose at trial, you don’t pay us anything. If you’re ready to get the legal advice you need, contact Moxie Law Group today.