The holidays are a time for family: sharing gifts, catching up with relatives seen only once a year and sharing family stories from the year, sharing big feasts, and sharing laughs. But germs are not a thing anyone wants to share during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
A cold, or worse, food poisoning doesn’t fare well when running through a crowded mall with only one bathroom and no drug store for the "oh so wonderful" flu medicine. So here are some tips to keep you and your family healthy.
1. Wash...wash…wash your hands. Remember, things like cell phones, restaurant menus, credit cards, pens, counters, and of course door handles are crawling with germs. Always wash with warm, not hot, water (hot will dry your hands, allowing them to chap and crack more easily, allowing more germs to enter), always use a squirt of soap, and focus on the backs of hands, in between fingers and under nails. Dry with a clean paper towel, but don’t throw it away until you’ve used it to open the door.
2. If you can’t wash, use hand sanitizer. However, since hand sanitizer can dry your hands, try one with a moisturizer.
3. Remember, don’t put your fingers in your mouth, touch your face, or eat unless you are SURE your hands are clean.
4. When making your holiday feast, remember to be vigilant about cleaning. Use paper towels to clean up a mess instead of a sponge, keep meats on the bottom shelf of the fridge in a plastic bag, and in a bowl or on a plate to prevent drippings. Never put raw meat on the same plate you will put any cooked food.
5. When removing the innards of the turkey, put them into a plastic bag and in the garbage immediately; wash hands thoroughly.
6. Never eat the dough of cookies; raw eggs can carry salmonella and cause violent diarrhea and vomiting, and land many in the hospital…not somewhere anyone wants to be on the holidays.
7. Remember, food that is done cooking should be held as warm as possible until served - try putting your oven on low heat to keep things warm until everything else is done, or plan ahead and time things out to be done at the same time if possible.
Most of all: HAVE A JOYOUS HOLIDAY SEASON, AND A HAPPY 2011!
Assistance Provided by: Christina Wolfe