Have a fun and safe holiday season

Halton continues to be one of the safest places to live in Canada. Halton Region provides programs, services and resources for individuals and families to make safe and healthy decisions. Below are some tips and resources Halton Region has to ensure you and your family have a safe and fun holiday.

Prepare for winter driving conditions and drive safely

  • Always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle. Your kit could include blankets, a
    flashlight, a first aid kit and snow removal items such as a scraper and shovel.
  • Drivers should also consider putting on winter tires – they perform much better than all-season tires on snow and icy pavement.
  • Visit halton.ca/beprepared for more safety tips and how to assemble your emergency kit.
  • If you plan to drink at a holiday party, please don’t drink and drive. Make sure you plan a safe ride home. You can call a taxi, take public transit or arrange for a designated driver.
  • Remember, impaired driving is a crime in progress so if you see someone you suspect may be impaired, call 911.
  • Visit halton.ca/drivesafe for more safe driving tips.

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Follow the four food safety tips

Gathering with family and friends over a meal is one of my favourite things about the holiday season. Follow these tips to ensure any holiday meals you prepare and serve are safe to eat.

  1. Clean – Always wash your hands, utensils and cooking surfaces with soap and hot water before you handle food, while you prepare it and again when you’ve finished.
  2. Separate – Keep certain foods, like meat and their juices, separated from other foods during storage and preparation and use separate cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables.
  3. Cook – Prepare foods properly, cook them thoroughly and serve them immediately. Don’t leave food at room temperature where bacteria can grow. The danger zone is between 4°C (39°F) and 60°C (140°F).
  4. Chill – Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours.

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If you’re dining out, check our Dinewise information to find the latest inspection reports for restaurants across Halton. For more tips on safe food, visit halton.ca/foodsafety.

Protect yourself and others from the flu

The holidays are prime time for spreading cold and flu viruses as we attend many social gatherings. Here are simple ways to keep yourself and others protected:

  • Wash your hands frequently and cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • If you don’t feel well, wait until your symptoms have gone away before visiting loved ones in retirement homes or long-term care homes. Older adults are at a greater risk of complications from illnesses such as the flu.
  • Get the flu vaccine at your pharmacy or family doctor.
  • To find out where to get your vaccine and learn more about protecting yourself
    and others, visit halton.ca/flu.

Enjoy a healthy and happy holiday season! As we get ready to ring in 2018, thank you for all you do to make Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire…and keeping our community safe.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.