Stay safe this holiday season! 

We can all take steps to prevent food poisoning and respiratory viruses from spreading at our holiday family gatherings and ruining the fun. Follow these tips to stay safe during the winter holidays. 

  • If you’re feeling sick (runny nose, fever, cold symptoms), it may be better to skip the holiday gathering and stay home so you don’t get others sick. Try joining in through a video call so you can still enjoy the festivities and see your friends and family safely. 
  • Get your shots to stay up to date on vaccines for viruses like COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and flu to help keep you from getting seriously ill or getting others sick. Learn more at 
  • Wash your hands frequently to stop the spread of viruses and to prevent food poisoning: 
  • Before, during, and after preparing food 
  • Before eating food 
  • After handling pet food or pet treats or touching pets 
  • After using the toilet 
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet 
  • After touching garbage 
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick 
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound 
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing  
  • Thaw your turkey safely and cook all food to the correct internal temperature to prevent food poisoning. Don’t eat raw cookie dough or batter.  
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold to prevent food poisoning, every day but especially during the holidays when we tend to make a lot of food for a lot of people.  
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable food like meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, eggs, cut fruit, cooked rice, and leftovers within two hours (one hour if food is exposed to temperatures above 90°F, such as in a hot car).  
  • The temperature in your refrigerator should be set at 40°F or below and the freezer at 0°F or below.