Holiday Food Safety 101: What You Should Know

With the holidays fast approaching, a ton of delicious food will be at your fingertips. But with food allergies, forgetful cooks, and eyes that are bigger than your stomach, you never know when a hearty meal could cause unfortunate side effects. 

Here are some of the top food safety tips you should consider for the holidays -- and what to do when something goes wrong. 

Food allergies: How to stay safe 

Food allergies and sensitivities are more common than ever. Between Celiac's disease, dairy intolerance and nut allergies, you never know when an overzealous baker might forget the dietary restrictions of their family members. 

“Hey Aunt Frida, what’s in this pie?” 

That's why it's up to you to take your health into your own hands. Be sure to ask plenty of questions about each dish before diving in. After all, a delicious plate of mashed potatoes could have been made with almond milk for dairy sufferers. Even seemingly innocent dishes could contain unknown ingredients that could send you rushing to an urgent care clinic – or in severe cases – the emergency room. 

You should also have an EpiPen handy in the event that an emergency interrupts your festivities. Luckily, you can get a prescription refill in less than 30 minutes with MultiCare Virtual Care. Chat face-to-face with a certified provider via your favorite device to receive a diagnosis, care plan and prescription, if needed. That means you have plenty of time to run to the store before heading to your family's house. 

Wrap up food properly 

Food safety tip: Ask guests to bring containers to store leftovers in the fridge before bringinghome.There's nothing better than a great evening spent with close family and friends. Amidst the love of the holidays and ugly sweaters, however, it can be easy to forget to clean up after a big meal. If food is left out on the counter for too long, your leftovers could send you sprinting to the nearest urgent care clinic with some serious tummy troubles. 

Food poisoning is an unfortunate side effect of big family gatherings. As soon as the food cools enough to put into the fridge, you and your family members should wrap, seal and bag any leftovers to prevent bacteria from growing. You might want to bring along a couple of coolers in case your fridge can't handle the wealth of food at your disposal. Keep in mind that roasted turkey will only keep for a few days, while moist foods should be eaten even more quickly. 

Avoid overeating

Overeating is another common issue during the holidays, even with the aid of stretchy pants. With so many mouthwatering options before you, it can be hard to resist sampling each one. Unfortunately, overeating can lead to serious stomach pains and even back pain if it gets worse enough. 
The 20,000 physicians practicing urgent care medicine today will tell you to limit your portion sizes and eat slowly to feel full for longer. In the event that you do eat too much, be sure to have antacids and anti-gas medications handy. Otherwise, your guests may spend the rest of the evening glued to the couch -- or toilet. 

When you need urgent medical attention fast, rely on the best team of medical providers at MultiCare Immediate Clinic for help around the holidays. The Immediate Clinic near you is open from 8 am to 8 pm and seven days a week, including holidays. Get in. Get out. Get well!

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