There are a lot of areas of safety and health that we can talk about related to the holidays:
Health Concerns and Safety
These are just a few that immediately come to mind when one considers the vast list of "worries" that abound during the holiday season.
Today we are going to briefly touch on each topic and give you some steadfast tips to help you "weather" the sometimes touchy holidays.
Traveling has not changed much in the past few years. There continue to be concerns about weather conditions making for difficult travel, fuel costs, and the like. While these are all related to the actual act of traveling from Point A to whatever points you hit along the way, these are all valid concerns.
The best travel tip for winter traveling is this, keep an eye on the forecast and watch the skies.
I know how important it is to see relatives and friends for the holidays, but if you risk travel when the conditions dictate staying home, you are not only putting yourself in danger but also anyone else who might be in the same situation as you.
Of course, there are always unforeseen hazards such as car failure, but there are ways to prepare for difficulties while traveling by vehicle.
The Zebra recommends the following 13 items be packed in your winter travel survival kit.
Flashlight with extra batteries
Bag of cat litter (no, not for the cat--leave her at home!) for use in getting unstuck.
First aid kit
Cell phone charger
Extra items. Pack these additional supplies if you have space in your car:
Extra winter clothes
Empty gas can
Making sure that you have clean workspaces while preparing your holiday feasts is vital to a happy, healthy, and festive holiday. It won't make much sense to prepare a huge meal for the family if everyone gets sick from eating it because you did not use safe food handling tips!
The United States Food and Drug Agency (FDA) has a simple list on its website. These tips are time-tested and can help all of your guests enjoy the meal.
The site states, "The Federal government estimates that there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illness annually – the equivalent of sickening 1 in 6 Americans each year. And each year, these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths."
Those are some frightening statistics but you can keep your holidays food illness free by following these tips. (These are directly from the article on the FDA site in the link above) You may also check out the complete PDF here.)
Wash hands and surfaces often
Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets.
Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item.
Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, launder them often in the hot cycle.
Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush.
With canned goods, remember to clean the lids before opening.
Separate raw meats from other foods
Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags, and refrigerator.
Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs unless the plate has been washed in hot, soapy water.
Don’t reuse marinades used on raw foods unless you bring them to a boil first.
Cook to the right temperature
Color and texture are unreliable indicators of safety. Using a food thermometer is the only way to ensure the safety of meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products for all cooking methods. These foods must be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria.
Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm. Only use recipes in which eggs are cooked or heated thoroughly.
When cooking in a microwave oven, cover food, stir, and rotate for even cooking. If there is no turntable, rotate the dish by hand once or twice during cooking. Always allow standing time, which completes the cooking, before checking the internal temperature with a food thermometer.
Bring sauces, soups, and gravy to a boil when reheating.
Refrigerate foods promptly
Use an appliance thermometer to be sure the temperature is consistently 40° F or below and the freezer temperature is 0° F or below.
Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and other perishables within 2 hours of cooking or purchasing. Refrigerate within 1 hour if the temperature outside is above 90° F.
Never thaw food at room temperature, such as on the countertop. There are three safe ways to defrost food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.
Always marinate food in the refrigerator.
Divide large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator.
As an added protection, you could consider using Vital Oxide to sanitize the surfaces where you are preparing food.
Vital Oxide is an NSF registered (D-2) no rinse required food contact surfaces sanitizer.
It kills 99.999% of food-borne bacteria, including E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria in less than 60 seconds.
Vital Oxide is a hospital-grade disinfectant that is EPA Registered and can be found on the N list as a product that successfully eliminates SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). This product is applied with an electrostatic sprayer, allowing every surface point to be sanitized. After 5 minutes, 99.999% of microbes are eliminated. You can also easily spray it directly from the bottle.
Health Concerns and Safety
This area goes hand-in-hand with the previous topic. Because so many people do contract food-borne illnesses during the holidays, please take extra precautions with your food-prep areas. This cannot be emphasized enough.
Because Vital Oxide is very effective in killing all sorts of bacteria, it is safe to use throughout your house to help eliminate risks of other illnesses as well. It is also safe and easy to use as Step One in our total 2 Step Process for eliminating a lot of nasty things in your home, school, office, church, and more!
We know that many illnesses like Influenza A, RSV, COVID, Strep, and other illnesses are impacting the nation currently.
In fact, an article from our local newspaper this week talks about a school that was closed for two days due to so many students that were out sick.
Don't risk your family and friends' health when it is so easy to keep people healthier!
For more information...
If you have questions about our 2-step process and how LastGerm is working to bring you more quality products that make your life safer and better, contact an agent near you who will be happy to assist you.