5 Tips for a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we wanted to share tips for keeping you and your loved ones safe. Here are 5 proven safety measures to consider as you gather with family and friends this holiday.

  1. If you’re eating turkey, make sure you follow all safety steps when storing, thawing, handling and cooking it.
    • Storage: Proper storage includes keeping the raw turkey in a freezer at or below 0 degrees F until you’re prepared to thaw it.
    • Thawing: You should never thaw turkey by letting it sit out at room temperature. Instead you can thaw it in the refrigerator, the microwave or a bag of cold water.
    • Preparation and Handling: Although it may be cumbersome, it is crucial to be diligent about washing your hands before and after handling the meat. Scrub thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure your turkey does not share a cutting board or plate with any other food items.
    • Do not wash raw turkey. Studies show that washing raw turkey can allow its juices to contaminate other foods with harmful bacteria.
    • Failing to follow these safety procedures increases your risk of food poisoning from Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens and other bacteria.
  2. Beyond the usual risks from foodborne bacteria, this season’s outbreaks of flu and RSV pose additional risks. Washing your hands properly and regularly helps reduce the risk of spreading these viruses.
  3. Improve ventilation by using an air filter. Cleaning indoor and maintain good air flow is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of respiratory infections. Keeping windows or doors open, weather permitting, is another way to improve indoor air quality.
  4. Take a rapid, at home COVID-19 test the day of the gathering. People with insurance are eligible for reimbursement of 8 at-home tests per month for every individual under their insurance plan.
  5. Avoid bringing a virus to the table by wearing a mask in indoor public places for three full days ahead of the event. Wearing a high-quality mask (N95 or KN95) dramatically lowers the risk of getting COVID-19 and flu.

We hope these safety tips will help you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

For more information about staying safe over the holidays, see: CDC, Los Angeles Times