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Whether your personal kickoff celebration involves college or NFL football or a traditional launch into the upcoming year-end holidays, it’s party time! And while for some folks the planning of the ultimate bacchanalian revel is the best part of “party,” your Trusted Choice® agent reminds you to be sure safety is on the menu.

That advice may seem obvious, but statistics suggest far too many folks ignore it to their — and their party guests’ — peril. Losses range from minor food poisoning to tragic DUI-created auto accidents. Yet maximizing the fun while minimizing the risk may involve following just a few simple safety tips.

Serving alcohol?
  • If drinkers have not prearranged a designated driver, provide one. Or call a cab.
  • Remind guests to monitor their alcohol intake. Sure, they are adults and need to be responsible, but it’s your party. Take the initiative to cut them off or call a cab if they are clearly exceeding their limits.
  • Encourage drinkers to also eat hearty; drinking on an empty stomach leads to no good end.
  • Close the bar at least 90 minutes before the festivities are scheduled to end. Bring out the coffee and a final desert or snacks to let guests wind down before heading home.
  • Provide plenty of alternative nonalcoholic beverages. Drinkers can slow down or “water down” their intake. Nondrinkers will appreciate not being pressured to partake (and you’ll preserve a pool of potential designated drivers).
When planning your menu:

 

  • The No. 1 food safety rule is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • Always replenish food by serving it on a clean plate. You risk contamination if you add more food to a plate that has been sitting out.
  • Wash hands before and after food handling.
  • Minimize contamination from guest hands by presenting food on multiple smaller platters rather than one large one.
  • Do not let food sit at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour if temperature is above 85 degrees, such as at a picnic). Keep replenishment food in the cooler, refrigerator or oven until ready to serve.

 

 

 

 

When preparing for the festivities:
  • Use only safety tested and approved decorative lights. Inspect all strings, and discard or repair any showing frayed wiring, loose connections or broken bulb sockets.
  • Keep lighted candles or incense a safe distance from holiday trees, drapes, paper decorations and other flammables.
  • Use only noncombustible or flame-resistant decorations and trimmings.
  • Keep flammables out of reach of children, especially lighters or matches.
  • Prepare emergency plans for escaping fire. 
Finally, if you have pets:
  • Consider your pet’s reaction to guests, and vice versa; consider having your pet stay elsewhere or in a closed room away from festivities.
  • Keep food and drinks safely out of pet reach.
  • Be aware and considerate of potential guest reactions, such as allergies or fear.
Bottom line? Put as much thoughtfulness into safety concerns as you do the menu and guest list, and you can help make sure your holiday festivities are remembered for the pleasure, not the pain.

Your Trusted Choice agent wishes you and yours a happy — and safe — party season!
Posted 9:05 AM  View Comments

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Valdosta Insurance Services, Inc.
812 Northwood Park Drive l Post Office Box 2070
Valdosta, GA 31604-2070 l 
Phone: (229) 242-4560 l Phone: (888) 242-4560 l Fax: (229) 242-4561 
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