Tainted Candy in NY? Worry More about the Other Kind of Food Poisoning
Halloween has passed, but it is never too early to think about next year’s Halloween-related safety issues.
There are a lot of urban legends surrounding Halloween, but one of the most memorable and consistent is the threat of personal injury due to tainted candy. Whether it’s razor blades and needles or arsenic and cyanide, tainted candy is on everyone’s mind.
However, while you should certainly be cautious when it comes to unwrapped or suspicious trick-or-treating loot, the real danger you need to be concerned about is regular food poisoning.
Let’s look at which Halloween treats are the most susceptible to food poisoning and then go over food safety tips that will help you prevent a Halloween nightmare next year.
Beware of Food Poisoning This Halloween
Whether you are planning to throw a Halloween party or just attend one next year, there are a few things you should watch out for when it comes to the food.
Caramel apples. This delicious treat is a staple during Halloween, but if they’ve been sitting out for a while, you might want to pass.
In 2014, 35 people who had eaten commercially prepared caramel apples ended up in the hospital due to Listeria monocytogenes – bacteria that can cause vomiting, headaches, and fever. The cause? The caramel apples had reached room temperature, enabling the bacteria to grow.
If you need a caramel apple fix, make sure you’re getting one that’s cold and has been kept in the refrigerator.
Cooked food. If you plan to cook food next Halloween, be sure to check the internal temperature of your dish to avoid the risk of food poisoning. Poultry and meat should be cooked at proper temperatures.
Also, make sure any perishable foods aren’t left outside of the refrigerator for too long because that’s a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Produce. Serving fruit and vegetables at a Halloween party is a healthy alternative to all that candy, but make sure you wash all produce before preparing or eating. Even if you’re just bobbing for apples instead of eating them, you should still rinse your produce thoroughly to ensure it’s free of bacteria.
Wash your hands. Regardless of whether you’re preparing food to serve others or simply dishing out the food to enjoy, it’s imperative to wash your hands to avoid contaminating the food or contaminating others.
Signs of Food Poisoning
While you can take all of these necessary precautions, you can’t control everything. Sometimes food poisoning happens, so you need to know what to watch for.
Bacteria like Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and others are the most common causes of food poisoning and can cause a number of signs and symptoms, including:
- Abdominal pain or abdominal cramping
- Muscle pain and cramping
For the most part, if you get food poisoning, you simply have to wait it out and should get better in a few days to a week. There are some times, however, where you might end up with a more serious case.
In the event that you need to be hospitalized due to food poisoning, you might want to reach out to an experienced New York personal injury lawyer to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit to recover damages. In tragic cases where food poisoning causes death, a wrongful death claim may be viable.
Hopefully, though, if you follow these tips to avoid food poisoning, you’ll be able to stay safe next Halloween!
Keep Yourself Safe from These Common NY Thanksgiving Accidents
The Thanksgiving holiday is more than just a real feast, it’s also a “feast” of food, fun, and family time. Unfortunately, as with the real feast at the center of the celebration, sometimes it’s possible to overdo it or act without thinking.
When that happens, it can lead to a number of injuries. Here are the most common ways people get hurt on and around the Thanksgiving holiday and how to avoid each one.
Millions of Americans travel by automobile over the Thanksgiving weekend which means the potential for car crashes significantly increases between Wednesday and Sunday.
If you’re on the road this Thanksgiving, it’s wise to practice smart driving habits with all the extra traffic. Put away all distractions, especially your phone. Wear your seat belt – over 60 percent of those who die in holiday car crashes are unbuckled. Above all, don’t drink and drive as that puts everyone at risk for serious injury or death.
Slips and Falls
If you have adverse weather conditions where you celebrate Thanksgiving, plan to watch your step when you get out of the vehicle and make sure to wear shoes that grip the ground well. As a Thanksgiving host, prep your yard and sidewalks ahead of time. Treat any ice/snow-covered areas, sweep away debris and remove clutter from walkways and porches.
Inside the home, avoid slip and fall injuries by clearing paths, cleaning up spills, and making sure no little children are underfoot when you are carrying heavy items.
Also, if you’re planning to decorate your home for the holidays after the feast, make sure to use extra precautions while using a ladder. Many people end up with fractures and sprains from falling off ladders while hanging lights or greenery. Test your ladder for stability first and don’t exceed the weight limit.
Burns happen on Thanksgiving most often because people are trying to put out a fire the wrong way. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and use it instead of water – especially on grease fires because water on grease fires may increase your chances of getting burned.
If you plan to fry your turkey this year, it’s crucial that you follow these burn precautions:
- Set up your fryer far away from flammable objects, including dry leaves.
- Use protective gear like long-cuffed gloves, frying hooks and safety glasses.
- Completely thaw and pat-dry your turkey before frying.
- Be sure to follow fryer guidelines for proper oil levels and temperatures.
- Never leave the turkey fryer unattended.
- Keep children away from the fryer at all times.
Take care not to get a burn injury in the kitchen also. Watch for splattering when removing items from the oven or stove. Keep sleeves pushed back so they don’t accidently catch fire. Make sure your pot handles are turned away from the front to prevent spills.
Many people get cut by handling knives improperly. To avoid this, you need to follow a few safety precautions.
- Start with a sharp knife, since sharp knives are steadier than dull ones.
- Pay close attention, keeping your eyes on the food and your fingers curled under to prevent injury.
- Leave the turkey carving to someone with experience.
- Secure your cutting board with a silicone or rubber pad underneath.
You can spoil your whole Thanksgiving weekend with a bout of food poisoning. Because of this, it’s important to take several precautions to keep foods safe:
- Allow plenty of storage space in refrigerators and freezers so air can circulate properly.
- Defrost your turkey and other meats in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
- Cook all meats to full temperature.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before, during, and after cooking.
- Keep raw meats and eggs separate from other foods to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don’t leave food out too long.
- Reheat leftovers thoroughly.
Many families enjoy a post-meal game of football, but a fun game can turn into a horrible day if an accident occurs.
To stave off injuries, there are a few things you should remember, such as:
- Work out ahead of time.
- Warm up before the game with some light aerobics and stretching.
- Don’t drink alcohol before playing – it can impair your judgment.
- If you haven’t played in a long time, it may be best to cheer others on rather than participate.
If you do get injured, stop playing right away and get help. Typical Thanksgiving football injuries include broken bones, sprains, and slipped discs.
Have a plan in place to drink responsibly. Also remember to keep drinks out of the reach of children. Curious toddlers may take a sip and get sick, so always keep track of your glass and lock up bottles of alcohol.
If you become injured this Thanksgiving due to someone else’s negligence, time is of the essence to get compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to receive the help you need.
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