Tips for a Safe and Healthy Holiday Season

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As Floridians prepare to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, it’s important to take precautions to keep everyone safe. The Florida Department of Health offers these health and safety recommendations:

Flu Vaccination: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine every year.

People should be vaccinated at least two weeks before traveling because it can take a few weeks for vaccine immunity to develop.

Holiday Travel: People who are sick should not travel, even if symptoms are mild, as infection can spread quickly to others.

If you are traveling on a commercial flight, wear a mask and social distance as much as possible. If you feel ill upon return, get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

COVID-19 restrictions vary by State, check on your destination before departure.

Food Safety: Frozen turkeys can defrost at a safe temperature using one of these methods: in a leak-proof container in the refrigerator; in a leak-proof plastic bag in a sink of cold water (water should be changed every 30 minutes), or in the microwave, following the microwave manufacturer’s instructions. Never defrost meat at room temperature.
Cross contamination of foods causes illness. Separate utensils, cutting boards and plates used for raw meats from other foods.

Food thermometers are the best way to confirm that a food is cooked to a safe temperature.

Leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours of eating.

Fire Prevention: Fireplaces, space heaters, candles and food cooking on stoves or in ovens should not be left unattended.

Keep a three foot clearance around all heat sources — fireplaces, air vents, space heaters.
Follow manufacturers’ instructions for connecting Christmas lights.

Christmas trees should be watered daily. Dry pine needles are fire hazards.