Part 3 of a 3-part series
To date, our series has covered safety relative to choosing, displaying and decorating Christmas trees, working with wrapping paper, and guidelines for being safe at work and home. I don’t know about you, but I’ve learned a lot about how to #BeSafe during the holidays! This week, we will conclude our three-part series by focusing on travel, shopping and food safety. Our thanks to Universal Services of America, Food Safety.Gov, Web MD, TSA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, for contributing to our holiday safety series.
Holiday Travel Safety
- Drive slowly when visibility is reduced. It’s better to arrive alive even if you get to your destination a bit late.
- If you’re flying, prepare for crowds. Arrive at the airport in plenty of time, so you won’t be bothered by long lines. I wonder if Snoopy has to deal with this when he’s battling the Red Baron.
- If you notice an item that has been left unattended, alert airport security. Don’t ever agree to watch luggage for someone you don’t know.
- For instant access to TSA information anywhere, anytime, use the MyTSA app.
- If you choose to shop online, do so only with well-known businesses. Research websites for legitimacy and track record. Since I don’t have opposable thumbs, online shopping is difficult for me. I guess that’s a good thing.
- Conduct transactions on a secure server only. Look for the padlock device on the browser’s status bar. URLs should change from http to shttp or https when you begin checking out online. To confirm the site you are using is secure, make sure the page is encrypted before you enter payment information.
- At the mall, park close to your destination, in a well-lit area. Take note of where you park, so you won’t get lost.
- Don’t carry multiple bags as you walk around the mall. This could attract thieves who could follow you back to your car. If your packages become cumbersome, it’s time to head to the car to drop them off. When you get to your vehicle, lock packages in the trunk, out of sight.
- As you shop, carry your purse close to your body and/or stow your wallet inside a zippered pocket. I don’t carry a purse. But my wife does. I guess I should pass this info onto her.
- Report suspicious activity and/or unattended packages to store/mall security or law enforcement.
- Pay by credit card, rather than check/debit card, to reduce the risk of having fraudulent purchases made against your bank account. Although most such funds are refundable, depending on your financial institution, your money could be tied up far longer than might be convenient…especially during the holidays.
- To make sure all debit and credit card charges are legitimate, keep receipts and compare them to your monthly bank and/or credit card statement.
- Avoid being overcharged. Review your receipt regardless of your method of payment.
- Keep car keys handy.
- Lock your doors as soon as you get inside the vehicle.
- Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling any food.
- Wash food-contact surfaces (cutting boards, dishes, utensils, countertops) with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item. As much as I would like to advise having the dog lick your plates clean, washing them in soapy water would admittedly be far more hygienic.
- Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water.
- Use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.
- Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking in order to avoid spreading bacteria to areas around the sink and countertops.
- Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
- Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating.
- Don’t eat uncooked cookie dough. It may contain raw eggs, which can harbor salmonella.
- Thaw frozen food safely in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave—never at room temperature.
- As a general rule of thumb, leftovers should be used within three to four days, unless frozen. After four days, you could always give leftover meat to the family pet. Just a suggestion. J
- For fire safety, keep flammable materials far from open flames. Fire safety is important. So try to remain focused even in the midst of holiday stress.
We hope that this blog series has helped inform you about ways to #BESAFE this holiday season and always, by taking necessary steps to improve your health and safety. The RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to helping improve and save lives. Visit our website for ways proper planning can make a difference in numerous aspects of your professional and personal life.