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Tips to Remember on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving dinner table.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (November 21, 2022) - Thanksgiving is just days away and as friends and family gather together, be aware the holidays pose additional poisoning risks for all.

“Have our number saved, 1-800-222-1222, just in case you need us,” says Michele Caliva, administrative director of the Upstate New York Poison Center. “No one ever thinks they will have a poison emergency or a poisoning question during the holidays, but it happens. Remember we are open 24/7 and you will speak to a highly trained Certified Specialist in Poison Information.”

How to keep you and your loved ones safe on Thanksgiving:

  • Wash your hands before handling any food.

  • Thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator (40 degrees) which will take one day for every 5 pounds.
    Fresh or unfrozen turkey should not be in a refrigerator for any more than 2 days. Don’t refreeze a thawed turkey. Thawing a turkey at room temperature causes bacteria to grow on defrosted layers.

  • Stuff turkey immediately before cooking and always remove all stuffing immediately after cooking to avoid bacteria growth. Never store the turkey with stuffing still inside.

  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Switch them out every two hours to prevent a poisoning.

  • Do not leave alcoholic beverages, marijuana edibles, vape pens, or cigarettes out for curious children to find. Ingesting as little as one whole cigarette, three or more cigarette butts, nicotine patches or gum can cause poisoning in children.

  • Remind guests to put their purses and bags out of reach of children. Guests often bring medications. Offer them a safe place for storage that is up high and out of sight of children.

In the case of a poisoning or for information purposes, call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. We are open 24/7, 365 days a year. Each year our center manages more than 50,000 calls from health care providers, 911 operators, hospitals, industry, schools, and the general public in our 54-county service area.

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About Upstate New York Poison Center

Housed inside Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, the Upstate New York Poison Center is dedicated to reducing the number, cost and severity of poisonings within its designated 54-county service area as mandated by New York State Law. The Center is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to both health professionals and the general public at 1-800-222-1222.

About Upstate Medical University

SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, is the only academic medical center in Central New York. It is also the region's largest employer with 9,460 employees. Affiliated with the State University of New York, Upstate's mission is to improve the health of the community through education, biomedical research and health care.