November Health Flyer
The weather is cooler, and we’re back on Standard Time. So, it must be November already! Two things come to mind when I think of autumn: the Holidays and Travel. I can’t think of the Holidays without thinking of food. We have always had turkey for Thanksgiving at our house and either turkey or ham for Christmas. Since becoming a Texan, we’ve added tamales to the menu, especially for New Years’. We have also succumbed to the influence of our Pilipino brethren at Holy Spirit and now have egg rolls too.
As your health activities director, I need to bring up the health issues involved with these happy occasions. Some responsibilities come with all the enjoyment of food for the holidays regardless of the menu.
First, you may want to check if some of the items you’ve bought are on the recall list. Since October, there has been a recall on eggs, ham, poultry and ground beef. All those items have now been pulled from the shelves at retailers, but you may have bought something on the list and froze it for use later. Check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website to be sure: https://www.cdc.gov/
Hand washing cannot be overemphasized. Whether for general hygiene, for cooking or just fixin’ to eat the great food. Always wash your hands after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
Also, wash any utensils such as tongs, platters, bowls, etc. that you used to handle and/or move the raw food to the oven or pan. This is especially important if you plan to use them again to serve the food you just cooked. Always wash sinks and countertops where the raw food touched as well.
Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs away from read-to-eat foods.
Make sure to cook foods to the right temperature. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/
Don’t leave any perishable food out for more than two (2) hours
There are some health issues involved in travel too. Whether you’re headed over the river and through the woods or just up the road a piece for the holidays, please think about the following:
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Don’t drive and text.
I hope you are fortunate enough to have a companion to accompany you on your trip to answer your phone and navigate for you. If not, silence your phone and wait to check for communications at your “pit stop.”
- “Pit Stop”
If you’re driving for three hours or more, stop every two hours for a “pit stop” to stretch, and have some water, coffee or soda to stave off drowsiness.
- Wash, wash wash.
Again, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds. Lots of germs can easily “leap” from hands to nose and mouth –not to mention from you to other people.
Drink plenty of fluids while traveling. Try for 8 ounces of water each hour. Moist airways are less susceptible to viruses and bacteria.
- Commercial Transportation:
When you fly, or ride a bus or train, use a disinfectant wipe on armrests, tray table and latch, air vent, and seatbelt buckle. Get up and move around every hour to stretch your muscles and to stimulate blood circulation in your legs and feet.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.
Health Activities Director