DPH Provides Fourth of July Food and Pet Safety Tips

DOVER – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) recommends that residents take steps to keep family, friends, and pets safe during Fourth of July gatherings.

Prevent foodborne illness:
As temperatures rise, so do your chances of contracting a foodborne illness if you do not properly handle and sanitize your food. Be mindful of keeping food out in the hot sun too long and follow the proper procedures for cooking meats and poultry. When bringing food to a picnic or cookout:

• Use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs. Frozen food can also be used as a cold source.

• Foods that need to be kept cold include raw meat, poultry, and seafood; deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches; summer salads (tuna, chicken, egg, pasta, potato or seafood); cut up vegetables and fruits, especially melons; and perishable dairy products.

• A full cooler will maintain its cold temperature longer than a partially filled one. When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter.

• Avoid opening the cooler repeatedly so that your food stays colder longer. When hosting an outdoor event.

• Before cooking, keep meats and eggs in a container under 40 degrees F, keeping ice for beverages in a separate container.

• Refrigerate cold foods until they’re ready to be served, keeping them on ice once they are out in the open.

• Have a food thermometer on hand so you can be sure you are cooking meats to their required temperature.

• Burgers and sausage should be cooked to 160 degrees F; chicken and turkey should be cooked to 165 degrees F; and steaks should be cooked to 145 degrees F with a three-minute rest time.

• Food should not be left out longer than two hours (one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees F).

For more food safety tips, visit http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/hsp/foodsafety.html or Foodsafety.gov.

Protect your pets from fireworks and loud noises:
The DPH Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) advises pet owners to be aware that fireworks cause many pets to run away, and that holiday foods and heat can be harmful to our four-legged family members. The following tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association can help keep pets are safe from harm during Independence Day celebrations:

• If your pet is sensitive to noises like fireworks or thunder, consult your veterinarian for recommendations on how to ease anxiety caused by fireworks and loud parties. Anxiety medications and treats, “thunder” shirts and behavioral training are all tools to help keep pets calm.

• Leave pets at home if attending gatherings elsewhere. In addition to fireworks, strange places and crowds can spook an animal and cause them to flee. Utilize a crate or escape-proof area of the home during parties and fireworks.

• Those who expect guests during the holiday, or any celebration, should inform their company to be mindful of pets when entering or exiting a home or yard to avoid accidental escapes. Place signs on doors and gates that alert guests to be vigilant about pets.

• Tell guests to refrain from sharing food meant for people as these can upset your pets’ stomach, or worse. After any in-home celebrations, check yards for food scraps and fireworks debris that animals may ingest.

• Make sure sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and skewers are out of reach from your pets.

• Stay vigilant about times when pets are outdoors. Pets are safest inside on hot and humid days. If they must be outside, ensure they have access to fresh water and secondary shade apart from dog and cat enclosures, which can become dangerously hot inside.

• Make sure your pets have identification tags with current owner contact information. Have your pet microchipped, if they aren’t already. A microchip is an affordable device with owner information to ensure pets can return home if they get out and are found by someone else. Make sure the microchip is registered with up-to-date owner contact information.

• If a pet does escape, post its photo and identifying information on the Office of Animal Welfare’s statewide Lost & Found Pet Registry, at animalservices.delaware.gov. Review found pet notices there as well. Your pet may have been found by a neighbor or taken to a local animal shelter.

 

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Free Events for the Fourth of July

July 4th is right around the corner, here is a list of events to celebrate Independence Day in 2018 throughout Delaware.

View events in by dates / times, location and county at The First State Blog


DART to the Rehoboth Beach Fireworks on Sunday, July 1

DART First State will be providing bus service to the Rehoboth Beach Independence Day Fireworks display on Sunday, July 1. Celebrate Independence Day with a spectacular firework display beginning at approximately at 9:15 PM.  Visitors can take the Beach Bus 201 Red Line to the fireworks from either the Rehoboth or Lewes Park & Ride lots, which are open all day. Riders will be dropped off at the Henlopen Hotel located on Surfside Place. We encourage individuals to purchase a Daily Pass on the bus.  The fireworks are launched from the beach south of Rehoboth Avenue; depending on the weather the fireworks may be launched any time after 8 PM.

The Rehoboth Park & Ride is located on Shuttle Road, just off of DE Route 1, north of Rehoboth Avenue. The parking rate is $10 per day and up to 4 occupants of the vehicle receive a free daily pass valid for the Fireworks and all Beach Bus routes. The Lewes Park & Ride is located near Five Points, south of DE Route 9. The parking is free, and the cost to ride the bus is $2 per trip or $4.20 for a Daily Pass.  Visitors can also take any of the Beach Bus routes to either Park & Ride lot to connect with the fireworks buses.

DART to the fireworks and everywhere this summer with the Beach Bus!

The Delaware Transit Corporation, a subsidiary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), operates DART First State.  Real-Time Transit Information is now available on the free DelDOT App (iOS and Android), as well as DART’s Trip Planner on DartFirstState.com.  For more information, please call 1-800-652-DART.


Ensure Your Pets are Safe During Fourth of July Festivities

Dog looks frightened by fireworksDOVER – The Fourth of July holiday may be a time for food, fun and fireworks for Delawareans, but what’s fun for humans can be dangerous for pets. The Division of Public Health Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) advises pet owners to be aware that fireworks cause many pets to run away, and that holiday foods and heat can be harmful to our four-legged family members.

The loud boom of fireworks can spook pets and cause them to run away. Additionally, parties present many opportunities for cats and dogs to be let in and out of houses or yards by guests. The following tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association can help keep pets are safe from harm during Independence Day celebrations.

  • If your pet is sensitive to noises like fireworks or thunder, consult your veterinarian for recommendations on how to ease anxiety caused by fireworks and loud parties. Anxiety medications and treats, “thunder” shirts and behavioral training are all tools to help keep pets calm.
  • Leave pets at home if attending gatherings elsewhere. In addition to fireworks, strange places and crowds can spook an animal and cause them to flee.
  • Utilize a crate or escape-proof area of the home during parties and fireworks.
  • Those who expect guests during the holiday, or any celebration, should inform their company to be mindful of pets when entering or exiting a home or yard to avoid accidental escapes. Place signs on doors and gates that alert guests to be vigilant about pets.
  • Tell guests to refrain from sharing food meant for people as these can upset your pets’ stomach, or worse. After any in-home celebrations, check yards for food scraps and fireworks debris that animals may ingest.
  • Make sure sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and skewers are out of reach from your pets.
  • Stay vigilant about times when pets are outdoors. Pets are safest inside on hot and humid days. If they must be outside, ensure they have access to fresh water and secondary shade apart from dog and cat enclosures, which can become dangerously hot inside.

There are preventive steps owners can take to increase the chance of reunification with a pet that has run away. Make sure your pets have identification tags with current owner contact information. Have your pet microchipped, if they aren’t already. A microchip is an affordable device with owner information to ensure pets can return home if they get out and are found by someone else. Make sure the microchip is registered with up-to-date owner contact information. License your pet. It is the law in Delaware, and if your pet is picked up by animal welfare officers, it is your pet’s free ticket home. License information can be found at petdata/delaware.com.

Owners should have a clear, recent, picture of your pet(s) on hand in case the animal(s) run away. Post a picture, brief description and contact information on social media and make privacy settings accessible to the public so it can be shared and viewed by a larger audience than your contacts. Post bright flyers in your area.

If a pet does escape, post its photo and identifying information on the Office of Animal Welfare’s statewide Lost & Found Pet Registry, at animalservices.delaware.gov. Your pet may have been found by a neighbor or taken to a local animal shelter.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Fireworks Illegal in Delaware

The Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal reminds all citizens and visitors of Delaware that fireworks are illegal to possess, use, or sell in the State of Delaware. This includes sparklers and sky lanterns.

Fireworks can cause serious injuries or death. Temperatures for a burning sparkler can exceed 1200 degrees Fahrenheit Projectiles from exploded fireworks can cause eye injuries, burns, and amputations of fingers. An estimated 11,900 people were treated in the nation’s hospitals in 2015 for injuries related to the use of fireworks. The highest number of injuries (8,000) occurred around the July Fourth holiday.

Fires can be started easily by exploding fireworks causing property damage especially in the dry summer months. During the evening hours it is very difficult to spot a fire starting during the fire’s incipient (early) stage. Fires may erupt from discharged fireworks well after the initial explosion. Burning fireworks can land in dry grass or on the roof of house without any one detecting the danger. Fires on a roof may smolder for an extended time before breaking out in flames visible from the ground.

Please leave fireworks in the hands of professionals by attending a professional fireworks show in lieu of creating your own show. The public displays are conducted by licensed professionals and the firework sites are inspected and receive approval prior to the events.

Penalties for the use of fireworks or possession of fireworks are misdemeanors subject to a fine. Damage or injuries caused by the use of fireworks can result in felony charges.

For additional information please contact your local fire company or fire marshal’s office.