5 ways to ensure your Thanksgiving guests stay healthy and safe


Thanksgiving table

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Whether you’re hosting two guests or 20, Thanksgiving is a big responsibility. We don’t mean to seem melodramatic, but in more than a few ways, your guests are putting their general wellness in your hands for the day.

Don’t cancel your holiday plans just yet. With a little foresight, it’s easy to make sure your guests stay healthy and safe.


1. Clear your walkways

An icy, dark walkway is an invitation for a broken wrist (or worse). If you live in an area that’s already seeing below freezing temperatures, buy some rock salt and spread it any place your guests might enter or leave your home. If it’s not that cold yet, at least double check your outdoor lighting to make sure there aren’t any dark spots where someone might trip and fall.


2. Thaw your turkey properly

There are a number of ways to thaw a turkey, but the safest way is to leave it in a fridge set at 40 degrees (this can take a few days, so hopefully you’ve already started). If you haven’t done so in a while, now is the perfect time to perform a quick fridge inspection to make sure your Thanksgiving feast is safe.


3. Calibrate your oven

Your oven may say it’s preheated to 350 degrees, but don’t believe everything you see. If things are out of whack in oven-town, at best you’ll wind up with a burnt bird, and at worst you’ll put your guests at risk for foodborne illness from undercooked meat. Prevent this by taking 15 minutes to calibrate your oven before the turkey goes inside!


4. Buy fire extinguishers

There are an estimated 2,000 fires every Thanksgiving, which result in an average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property loss. The best way to make sure your house isn’t a hazard is by doing a fire-safety onceover and, of course, keeping an extinguisher handy in the kitchen. That way, a grease flare-up turns into an exciting story instead of a tragic accident.


5. Protect your pets

Furry visitors count as guests, too! If you have a pet, or have one visiting for Thanksgiving, there are two major concerns for their safety: turkey skin and bones. Turkey skins are very difficult for dogs to digest, and bones present a choking hazard to all animals (even if they don’t choke on them, the sharp edges can pierce an animal’s digestive track). If pets are celebrating Thanksgiving at your house, keep them safe by keeping leftovers and table scraps out of reach.


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