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Prevention Measures For Health and Safety During the Thanksgiving Holiday

Prevention Measures
  • Published
  • 22 November 2023
  • Category
  • General

It’s important to take precautions to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and foodborne illnesses and to avoid injuries. Simple preventive measures are particularly important when serving customers, in crowds, while traveling, near people who are vulnerable to serious illness, and even at small gatherings with friends and family members.

Airports and roads are crowded with travelers who are making up for togetherness time lost during the pandemic. It’s not a good time to be complacent. Respiratory viruses that can cause life-threatening illnesses, including COVID-19 variants, influenza and RSV, are currently in circulation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker, COVID-19 related death rates increased in eight states earlier this month: Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee. Hospitalizations due to COVID rose by 8.6 percent nationwide. Meanwhile, the number of flu cases reported by the CDC is increasing, particularly in South Central, Southeast and West Coast regions.

Prevention Measures

While these prevention measures are familiar, it never hurts to be reminded:

  • Frequently wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
  • Wear a mask when in crowds and near vulnerable people with high exposure risk.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes and dispose tissue in a covered receptacle.
  • Get vaccinated for seasonal flu, COVID and, for children and older adults, RSV.
  • Stay home if you feel ill or have a known exposure to a contagious illness.

When preparing food, follow these four steps:

  1. Clean: Wash hands, surfaces and utensils in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly, especially after handling raw meat, seafood or eggs. Rinse produce in fresh, running water.
  2. Separate: Store and handle raw meat, fish and seafood separately from other ingredients. Use different storage containers, cutting boards and platters.
  3. Cook: Follow recommended cooking directions. Use a food thermometer to ensure meat, fish and casseroles reach a safe internal temperature.
  4. Chill: Bacteria that cause illnesses multiply rapidly when food is kept too long at room temperature or in the “danger zone” of 40-140° Perishable foods should be refrigerated after no more than two hours at room temperature.

It’s also advisable to keep a first-aid kit and working flashlight in vehicles, allow plenty of time for travel, check the weather before leaving work or home, and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions. Remember to get plenty of sleep, keep up your exercise routine, drink water and be mindful about alcohol consumption.

While it may be tempting to skip these preventive steps, getting sick or injured is much more inconvenient. The WorkCare team will be celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family and wishes you all a healthy and safe holiday.

Contact WorkCare to learn more about the ways we help employers protect and promote employee health: