Thanksgiving Safety During a Pandemic

U.S. & World News

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA– We are officially a week out from the bounty of a holiday feast centered around a turkey. Many of us choose to fry our turkeys, because we get that perfect combination of crispy skin and moist flavorful meat. However, there can be trouble when frying turkeys.

University Medical Center’s Burn Center see’s about 500 people year and half of those patients are admitted. Dr. Jeffrey Carter is the Burn Center Director and says, “anything that is over about 150 degrees can cause a burn injury in one second. When the turkeys are placed in frying oil, they can displace the oil and ignite with the burner underneath. Turkeys that are not fully defrosted burst into flames because they are still full of water.”

Some of the key things to remember include: allowing turkeys to thaw completely, checking the level of the oil when the turkey is submerged before the oil is heated up and also dressing appropriately for frying. “People who do this with exposed feet and legs commonly do get burn injuries when the oil splashes. These burns can be second or third degree,” says Dr. Carter.

With fried turkey, seafood dressing and stuffed mirlitons, Louisiana has a holiday culture like no other. We like to gather around some of the best food in the world, which adds a new danger this year as New Orleans enters a red phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Jeffrey Elder is the Emergency Medical Director for LCMC Health and says, “there’s more positivity of coronavirus tests in the community. This is one of those early warnings. We want to remind people that we can easily return to some of those higher levels we experienced earlier this spring if we don’t adhere to some of the public health protocols that we’ve been talking about for months which includes: socially distancing, wearing masks and avoiding large crowds.”

In addition to large crowds, small crowds are also a concern and Dr. Elder says, “this year unfortunately is just going to have to be different. We’ve see small family group get-togethers cause more and more virus outbreaks in the community. The best thing you can do for your family is protect them from this virus. Everyone wants to see their family. It’s tough on everyone. I won’t get to see my extended family this year just like many others won’t.

A socially distanced holiday is an unsavory flavor, but if we comply, there could be a lot more things to be thankful for next thanksgiving.


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