Date: January 22, 2019

Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 18. Wind chill minus 22 overnight.

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Keep Your Family Holidays Healthy

This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 10:29 AM

Point Edward, ON - When "the weather outside is frightful…" sharing Christmas joy indoors with family and friends is delightful, with one exception: it's the perfect environment to share germs.

Even though it comes once a year, the Yuletide season seems to be a time of year when influenza, colds and stomach disorders steal the holiday joy. Christmas parties, run-down immune systems and dry conditions create the perfect, germ-friendly trifecta for spreading illness.

"Preventing the spread of germs can be achieved with some basic preparation and daily routines to protect you and your loved ones from illness," says Erin Courtney, Health Protection Supervisor at Lambton Public Health.

To keep your family healthy, Lambton Public Health has a few reminders:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer when soap/water is not available.
  • Cough and sneeze in your sleeve.
  • Get your seasonal flu shot to help your body build immunity.

Improper food safety can make your guests ill. Here are some holiday food safety tips:

  • For potluck style, use warming trays, chafing dishes or crock pots to keep hot foods hot. Keep cold foods cold with serving trays on crushed ice.
  • If food remains at room temperature for more than two hours, throw it away.
  • Eggnog from a store is safe to drink but if you make it at home, use pasteurized egg and milk ingredients, or heat the egg-milk mixture to at least 71oC (160oF). Refrigerate using shallow containers so it cools quickly.
  • Cook your turkey to a minimum internal temperature of 82oC (180oF).
  • If you stuff your turkey, stuff loosely. Ensure stuffing has a minimum internal temperature of 74oC (165oF). Remove stuffing after cooking.

For information about illness prevention, flu shots, or food safety, call 519-383-8331, toll-free 1-800-667-1839, or visit www.lambtonhealth.on.ca.

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Please contact:

Erin Courtney
Supervisor, Health Protection
County of Lambton
519-383-8331 ext. 3503