The Holidays are just around the corner, and the Food and Drug Administration recommends going above and beyond to make sure guests don't get sick.
A report from the FDA said there are some people who are likely to suffer from life-threatening foodborne illness, including:
- Older Adults
- Infants and Young Children
- Pregnant Women
- People with Weakened Immune Systems (Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Cancer)
- People who take medication to suppress immune system (Lupus, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are ways to help prevent guests (and pets) from suffering this holiday season.
Safe food preparation and storage: Don't let your guests get sick
The FDA has four suggestions for safe food preparation.
First, keep the area you are working in, and the kitchenware you are using are clean.
Second, keep your food separated. This will help prevent foodborne illnesses caused by cross contamination.
Third, make sure your food is fully cooked. Most foods will have instructions with temperatures to reach to ensure your food is thoroughly cooked.
Lastly, refrigerate foods quickly. This will prevent the food hitting room temperature and growing harmful bacteria.
Pets aren't people: Here's what you shouldn't (and should!) feed your furry friend
The FDA isn't the only one giving advice ahead of the holidays. The American Kennel Club is urging pet owners to be on the lookout for foods that could harm or make your pets sick. Thanksgiving time usually coincides with an increase in pets making a trip to the vet, because they are more likely to eat something they shouldn't.
- Turkey bones, skin, and gravy
- Mashed potatoes
- Creamed peas
- Chocolate, cookies, pies, and sweets (especially anything containing xylitol)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Raisins and grapes
- Onions, scallions, and garlic
- Yeast dough
- Fatty foods
- Foods containing spices
However, the AKC said there are some foods your pets can have to give them that holiday experience:
- Sweet potatoes
- Turkey meat (no bones, no skin)
- Green beans
- Plain peas
- Pumpkin (no spices)
Decoration dangers: Keep décor out of reach
If you have already decorated for the holidays, make sure those decorations are out of reach to pets and small children. The FDA also has some tips on keeping your pets safe from holiday decorations.
They recommend keeping tinsel and ribbons, salt-dough ornaments, holiday plants, food and snack bags away from your cats and dogs. If they get ahold of these items, your four-legged friend could get sick and require an emergency trip to the vet.
One item you may be tempted to give your pet are stocking stuffers and treats. However, you may not want to let them gobble those up too fast, as the treats and toys would be hard for your pet to digest.
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