The holidays this year are going to look a little bit different than what we are used to with social distancing, masks, and possible outdoor meals on the horizon. During this time, our annual celebrations with family and friends are so important for our mental health, but it is equally important to stay safe. As indoor dinner parties and social get-togethers are risky this holiday season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people will likely be cooking and gathering outside. It is important to keep safety in mind when using a grill or turkey fryer (especially if it is for the first time) while cooking in the kitchen, and while gathering. Below are some tips to help you and your family and friends enjoy Thanksgiving safely!
Social Holiday Safety Tips:
- Cook and eat outdoors. Consider cooking a turkey on the grill or in an outdoor turkey fryer and having dinner outside to avoid being inside with other individuals for long periods of time.
- Wear a mask. Remember that even outside it is important to maintain physical distance and wear face coverings.
- Serve safer. Use single-use cutlery to decrease the transmission across surfaces and choose one person to do the serving to avoid everyone touching the serving utensils.
- Wash your hands often.
*Refer to the CDC’s guideline to Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings for more information.*
Outdoor cooking safety tips:
- Be prepared. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and familiarize yourself with the operations, especially if you are a first time user of a deep-fryer.
- Use only on a safe surface. Use the deep-fryer on a stable, non-combustible surface outside.
- Never leave a deep-fryer unattended.
- Ensure turkey is dry. Dry turkey before placing in a deep fryer to avoid water/oil interaction that could lead to a grease fire.
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
Kitchen Holiday Safety Tips:
- Wear a mask while preparing food.
- Minimize distractions. Pay attention while using a knife, removing hot items from the oven, and carrying a heavy object, to prevent injury as these are often prime times to have an accident.
- Cut away from yourself. Always keep both hands and your body out of the path of your sharp knife to avoid injury.
- Use a sharp knife when carving. Dull tools require more force to cut through the turkey and you are more likely to cut yourself.
- Dry workspace. Keep the workspace in the kitchen, tools, cutting boards, and your hands clean and dry to help prevent any injuries that may occur from slipping.
- DO NOT put water on a grease fire. Instead, smother it by placing a lid on top of the pan.
From the Milliken team, we hope you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! If you do find yourself needing assistance for an injury related to your hands, wrist, or upper extremity, The Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center is here to help!