[Skip to Content]

Upstate New York Poison Center Urges Caution to Prevent Thanksgiving Poisoning Incidents

Grandma and granddaughter putting turkey in the oven.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (November 20, 2023)
– As families prepare to gather for Thanksgiving celebrations, the Upstate New York Poison Center is issuing a timely reminder about potential poisoning hazards associated with the holiday festivities. From food-related mishaps to unintentional exposures, the holiday season poses unique risks, and the poison center is encouraging everyone to stay informed and take precautions.

Cooking and dining during Thanksgiving can introduce various risks, including food poisoning, unintentional swallowing of harmful substances, and mishandling of household chemicals. To ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday, the Upstate New York Poison Center recommends the following precautions:

  • Food Safety: Handle and cook food with care to prevent foodborne illnesses. Thoroughly cook poultry, avoid cross-contamination, and refrigerate leftovers promptly.
  • Chemical Safety: Be cautious when using household cleaners and chemicals. Keep them out of reach of children and store them in their original containers.
  • Medication Safety: If you have guests, ensure medications are stored securely and out of reach and sight of children. Be aware of potential interactions between medications and alcohol.
  • Plants: Some decorative plants, such as boxwood and holly, can be toxic if swallowed. Keep them out of reach of children and pets.
  • Carbon Monoxide: With colder weather, heating systems may be in use. Ensure proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Install and test carbon monoxide detectors.

"The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, but it's essential to be mindful of potential risks that can arise, particularly during Thanksgiving. By taking simple precautions, families can enjoy a safe and memorable holiday," says Jeanna Marraffa, PharmD, MPH, DABAT, FAACT, clinical director for the Upstate New York Poison Center.

If you have questions about potential poisonings or have a poisoning emergency, the Upstate New York Poison Center is available 24/7 to provide expert guidance. Call 1-800-222-1222 for immediate assistance.

For more information check out our newest Thanksgiving Fact Sheet.

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.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest information.

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.