Check Food Recalls and Remember Food Safety This Thanksgiving

Woman putting Thanksgiving turkey in oven

Woman putting Thanksgiving turkey in ovenBefore you start cooking the biggest meal of the year, check the latest food recalls and come up with a plan for safe food preparation. With good planning, you can minimize the risk of food poisoning at your Thanksgiving table.

Food Recalls: Romaine Lettuce
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning consumers to stay away from romaine lettuce contaminated by E. coli. This isn’t the first warning. This follows several romaine lettuce recalls in recent years – including last Thanksgiving (Source: Washington Post).

The current recall is for lettuce contaminated by an E.coli outbreak in Salinas, California. The CDC reports 40 people in 16 states have become ill due to the contamination. The CDC is urging consumers to throw all lettuce with labels which say it originated in Salinas. If you can’t find the growing area, consumers are advised not to eat the lettuce.

From Boston and across Massachusetts, many restaurants have posted advisories that they are not serving romaine lettuce.

Food Recalls: Raw Pork
Federal officials received an anonymous tip that Morris Meat Packaging of Illinois was producing food without federal safety inspection and on Saturdays, outside inspection hours. As a result, the company recalled 515,000 pounds of raw, intact pork products on Nov. 21, 2019. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is calling on consumers to look for EST. 18267 inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Food Recalls: Cheese Nips
Careful before you pick up that Cheese Nip. The parent company of Cheese Nips has issued a voluntary recall because yellow plastic pieces were found on manufacturing equipment. The source was a food scraper and the crackers were recalled to protect consumers from potential food poisoning. Consumers should look for – and not consume – 11-ounce Cheese Nips boxes with a best by date in May 2020. No injuries have been reported in connection to this recall.

Tips to Prevent Food Poisoning in Your Kitchen

Take care to use safe food handling practices when preparing your Thanksgiving meal.

Thaw your turkey in a container in the refrigerator; or in a sealed plastic bag in a sink of cold water (change water every 30 minutes) or in the microwave. Look up and follow instructions from the microwave manufacturer.

Clean, separate, cook and chill. Follow the four steps of food safety to prevent raw turkey from making contact with harmful bacteria. When you wash your hands, remember that germs that cause food poisoning can spread easily in your kitchen. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before, during and after preparing and before eating.

Cook stuffing separately from the turkey, thoroughly to 165°F. Only then can the stuffing be cooked inside a turkey. This is a critical and fundamental step because bacteria can form and food poisoning can happen when stuffing is not completely cooked.

Give yourself adequate time to cook the turkey so your guests can safely consume it. The amount of time you need will depend on the weight and size of your turkey. The goal is to reach a safe internal temperature of 165°F. Check by inserting a food thermometer in multiple parts of the turkey, including in the center of the stuffing and the thickest parts of the breast, thigh and wing joint.

(Source: Food Safety Tips for Your Holiday Turkey)

After your Thanksgiving meal, remember to refrigerate leftovers soon (within 2 hours at the most is the CDC recommendation) to prevent food poisoning.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers
Our Boston personal injury lawyers have over 100 years combined experience representing those who have been injured to the negligence and wrongdoing of someone else. If you have been injured, contact our attorneys for a free legal consultation: 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.

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Breakstone, White & Gluck Begins 2019 Project KidSafe Campaign

Attorneys’ Project KidSafe Campaign Gives Away 400 Children’s Bicycle Helmets in First Week of Community Events

Breakstone, White & Gluck donated more than 120 free bicycle helmets to children and families at Framingham Earth Day on April 27, 2019. Above: Attorney David W. White with young cyclists who received helmets.

Breakstone, White & Gluck kicked off our Project KidSafe campaign in April, continuing on with our commitment to put bicycle helmets on Boston-area children who need one to prevent head injuries.

We always look forward to this time of year, giving away the helmets, talking to children and families about riding a bike (some of the kids are pretty excited!) and working with our community partners.

This year, our attorneys are partnering with more than 40 community organizations, including police departments, schools and bicycle committees. While our attorneys donate the helmets, these groups are critical in getting the helmets to children and encouraging helmet use. Many of these groups organize community events, where children can receive a free helmet, have it fitted specifically for them and ask questions about bicycle safety and traffic laws. These events are a lot of fun, teaching core bicycle skills and giving children the chance to interact with other cyclists, police officers and the community in a positive way. Children also have the opportunity to see others wearing bicycle helmets, which reinforces our message that helmets are essential.

Breakstone, White & Gluck founded our Project KidSafe campaign in 2013, with a goal of protecting children on bikes. This is our 7th year in 2019 and we plan to donate more than 4,000 bicycle helmets to children in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Everett and other communities. To date, we have now donated more than 25,000 bicycle helmets to protect children.

These were the first few Project KidSafe helmet giveaways, most taking place on Saturday, April 27th:

Arlington Pierce School

Breakstone, White & Gluck donated 60 Project KidSafe helmets to fifth graders at Pierce School in Arlington, as part of its annual bike safety day during the week of April 22nd. This was the third year of the donation and our fifth year of supporting bike safety events in Arlington Public Schools. Our attorneys, MassBike and Arlington Police usually come out to talk about Massachusetts laws for cyclists, safety tips and just why wearing a helmet is important. Our attorneys were unable to participate this year due to scheduling, but we are told it was another event filled with valuable information and the students asked many good questions.

Watertown Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee

Watertown Little League Bike Helmet Giveaway. Helmets donated by Breakstone, White & Gluck.

The Watertown Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee were out on Saturday, April 27th, giving away roughly 70 bicycle helmets to children at Little League Opening Day. This marks the fifth year we have partnered with the committee to get helmets to local children. In the past, committee members have reached out to children with helmets at other community events, but this was their second visit to Little League Opening Day and they hope to continue on with this giveaway. Terrific work by the committee! Read more.

Westborough Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

Westborough families turned out strong for Healthy Kids Day at the Boroughs Family Branch of the YMCA of Central Massachusetts, which also took place on April 27th. Members of the Westborough Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee had a busy day, fitting more than 90 children for free bicycle helmets. This is familiar ground for committee members, who have volunteered their time for the past 5 years giving away the bicycle helmets and talking to families about safe riding. We thank them for their time and dedication each year.

Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission

The Medford Bicycle Advisory Commission (also known as Medford Bikes) gave our Project KidSafe helmets to children who needed one the Medford Indoor Bike Rodeo, which was held at the city’s recreation center. The April 27th event was put on in partnership with the Medford Recreation Center and Massachusetts Safe Routes to School. Pat Bibbens of Medford Bikes led the children through skills training. This was the third year Breakstone, White & Gluck and our Project KidSafe have donated bicycle helmets in partnership with Medford Bikes.  In past years, the committee has also distributed our Project KidSafe helmets at community events at the Medford Public Library and the town’s annual Medford Day. Great work this year!

Framingham Earth Day

At Framingham Earth Day, Attorney David W. White and our volunteers, Attorney Denise Murphy (who happens to be David’s wife) and Framingham cyclist Bill Hanson fit more than 120 bicycle helmets for children on Saturday, April 27th. We set up next to the Bruce Freeman Trail tent, so cyclists had the opportunity to learn about the developing trail and the importance of wearing a helmet in one stop. Thanks to both of our volunteers!

Check out more of our photos from our Framingham Earth Day donation and follow our Project KidSafe campaign on Facebook.

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Massachusetts Social Host Law: Safety During Prom Season

beer-125 copy.jpgAs prom and graduation season begins, parents are asked to speak to their teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Anyone under 21 who drinks or possesses alcohol in Massachusetts can be charged criminally. Anyone who furnishes alcohol to a person under the age of 21 can also be prosecuted. Parents who allow underage drinking in their home may be held financially liable

But many people are unaware of their responsibilities under the Massachusetts social host responsibility law. Anyone who provide alcohol to teens and allow them to consume alcohol in their home may face serious consequences, including imprisonment and fines.

“Safety is the most important point in any conversation about drinking and driving,” said Boston attorney David W. White. “It is particularly important that parents have zero tolerance for underage drinking in their homes, and obviously they must not supply any alcohol to minors. Providing even a small amount of alcohol to an underage drinker may result in a large civil judgment if it contributes to an accident.”

White urged parents to intervene to ensure that prom celebrations do not include alcohol and to make sure that prom season does not result in needless injuries or loss of life.

Click here for questions and answers about the Massachusetts social host responsibility law.
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Cooking a Safe Thanksgiving Dinner

turkey.jpgAt Thanksgiving, the focus is on enjoying good food and family. But attention must also be paid to fire safety because Thanksgiving sees more residential fire deaths, injuries and property damage than any other day of the year.

These fires are preventable with solid planning and good communication among those who are preparing the meal and others in the home. The Massachusetts personal injury lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck of Boston offer these tips to keep your holiday safe:

  • Never leave food cooking unattended. If you have to leave the kitchen, turn the stove off or ask someone to watch the food.
  • Make sure you have properly working smoke alarms near your kitchen.
  • Keep oven mitts, wooden utensils, towels and other materials away from the stovetop.
  • Use a timer to remind you when to stop cooking.
  • Avoid using candles, especially near young children.
  • Make sure cords to electrical tools and appliances, such as electric knives, are not dangling within reach of a child.
  • Make sure children stay away from liquids and soft foods such as gravy and vegetables until they cool down. If these foods are too hot, they can cause skin burns.

What To Do If You Have A Cooking Fire
Keep a small fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen, either under the sink or close by in a closet. Inspect it periodically and make sure it is properly charged. If you have a cooking fire, it is best to call 911, wait outdoors for the fire department.

If it’s an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. For small grease fires, smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turning off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it is cool. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. You could be badly burned.

If you try to put out the fire, be sure everyone else is out of the home and you have a clear exit path.
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Breakstone, White & Gluck Honored as 2011 Super Lawyers

trio.jpgBreakstone, White & Gluck announces its lawyers have been recognized as 2011 Super Lawyers by Boston Magazine. It is the eighth consecutive year the firm’s lawyers have been honored.

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone has been selected as one of the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers for 2011 and one of the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers for 2011. This is the second time Attorney Breakstone has been selected as one of the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers and the fifth time he has been selected one of the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers. In addition, Attorney Breakstone has been named a 2011 Massachusetts Super Lawyer for the seventh year in a row. Attorney Breakstone is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and specializes in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Click here to read his bio.

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck has been named a 2011 Massachusetts Super Lawyer. He was selected to the list for the seventh consecutive year. He was also selected to the list of New England Super Lawyers for the fifth year in a row. Attorney Gluck specializes in catastrophic personal injury cases stemming from automobile accidents, public transportation disasters, construction accidents and medical device and pharmaceutical product liability. He is a graduate of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Click here to read his bio.

Attorney David W. White has been named a 2011 Massachusetts Super Lawyer. He has been selected for the list each year since 2004. He has also been selected twice to the list of Top 100 New England Super Lawyers and four times to the list of Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers. Attorney White is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice and bicycle accident cases. Click here to read his bio.

About Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC
Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC, is a Boston law firm which represents injured plaintiffs in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. The firm has established a reputation as one of the top Massachusetts personal injury law firms. Notable cases include the case against a surgeon who left a patient on the operating table to cash a check, and several multi-million dollar cases arising from medical malpractice, EMT malpractice and motor vehicle accidents.

About Super Lawyers
Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a rigorous, multiphase process that includes peer nominations and evaluations and independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. The object is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for counsel.
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Drive Safe in August as Motor Vehicle Accidents Rise

carcrash.jpgYou may think winter snowfall makes for treacherous driving. But government figures show August is actually the most dangerous month on the roads, making it an important time to take precautions.

Based on records dating back to 1994, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports more Americans die in car crashes in August than at any other time of the year. In August 2009, that number totaled 2,864 deaths.

September had the next highest rate of traffic fatalities, followed by July. Weekends are the deadliest time on the roads throughout the year. Nationwide in 2009, there were an average of 123 deaths each day on Saturdays and 107 deaths on Sunday.

Experts say motor vehicle deaths rise in August because more people are on the road traveling for vacation, taking day trips and attending summer events.

Because of these factors, it is paramount to practice safe driving. Here, our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers offer safety tips to protect you and your family:

  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Travel slowly at night and make sure you are familiar with your route.
  • Reduce distractions by putting away your cell phone and GPS.
  • When traveling with children, explain you must concentrate on the road.
  • On the highway, make sure children have distractions such as books and games.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.
  • Wear your seat belt.
  • Do not speed.
  • Talk to teenagers about taking safety precautions such as limiting passengers and avoiding night driving.

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Study: One Child Dies in Portable Pools Every Five Days

inflatablepoolB.jpgA surprising study published last month revealed that one child in the U.S. dies every five days in portable swimming pools during the warm weather months.

The study published in the journal Pediatrics challenges the popular idea that in-ground swimming pools pose a much larger safety risk. This study is significant because drowning has become the second leading cause of death among children age one to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study reports 209 deaths and 35 near-drownings of children under 12 in portable pools from 2001 through 2009. More than 90 percent of the children were under 5 and 81 percent of the swimming pool accidents occurred during the summer months.

The study’s classification of portable pools includes small wading pools less than 18 inches deep, inflatable pools and other soft-sided pools up to four feet deep. The study was conducted by National Hospital and Independent Safety Consulting in Rockville, Maryland. Researchers say the findings are comparable to in-ground pool drownings.

Researchers say owners of portable pools often fail to take the same safety precautions as those who own in-ground pools. They set pools up quickly without taking the time to install fencing, pool alarms, safety covers and lockable ladders.

The numbers also show in many cases, children are swimming in portable pools without adult supervision. Children were supervised by parents in only 43 percent of the drownings and swimming pool accidents. Parents were home 73 percent of the time.

Read more about the study published in Pediatrics. Read More

Youth Bicycle Helmets Recalled

helmet.jpgParents are advised to check their children’s bicycle helmets after a widespread recall involving popular models sold at Walmart and The recall may affect families and cyclists in Massachusetts.

Bell Sports of Scotts Valley, California is recalling 33,600 of its Bell Exodus full-face helmets with a plastic buckle on the chinstrap. The defective bike helmets have an angled visor and came in multiple colors in youth size. They were sold at Walmart stores and for $50 to $60 between August 2009 and March 2011.

The helmets pose a head injury hazard in the event of bike accident. The plastic buckle that connects the chin straps can fail and cause the helmet to fall off the person’s head, leaving them unprotected in bicycle accidents. The company has received one report of a buckle failing, resulting in a personal injury that required facial stitches.

Some 31,100 of the defective bike helmets were sold across Massachusetts and the United States. Another 2,500 helmets were sold in Canada.

Consumers are advised to stop using the helmets immediately. Read about the bike helmet recall on the Consumer Reports website. You will find a list of model numbers.

Contact Bell Sports if you have a defective helmet and request a free replacement. Call Bell Sports toll-free at 866-892-6059 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

If you are a cyclist, wearing a helmet is critical to reducing the risk of head injuries. It is also critical for your children. It is important to purchase a helmet which is safe for use, meets CPSC standards and to learn how to properly fit your helmet. To learn more, read this brochure from the NHTSA – and share it with your friends and family members who ride.

Another important safety tip is to replace your helmet regularly. We hope you never fall or are injured in a bicycle crash, but if you do fall, your helmet should be able to absorb the fall and provide protection. Once a helmet hits the ground in a crash, it should be replaced right away. If you don’t crash, you maybe able to use your helmet for a few years. You have to carefully inspect your helmet, evaluate the condition of the helmet and the wear and tear on helmet straps. Some people should replace helmets every year and others may work for two or three years.

In Massachusetts, cyclists who are 16 and younger are required by law to wear bicycle helmets. Bike share programs in the Boston area typically have language in their rider contracts, requiring cyclists to wear helmets at all times. Wearing a bicycle helmet is a step every cyclist can take to protect themselves, so we hope you and your family take time to purchase helmets and commit to wearing them. Read More

Play It Safe and Avoid Injury This Baseball Season

Major League Baseball has opened its season and baseball players of all ages are stepping up to the plate across Massachusetts. Breakstone, White & Gluck wants you and your family to play it safe and enjoy the game.

Here, our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers offer safety tips on equipment, pitching and recovering from injuries:

Equipment and Field Safety

  • Batting helmets must be worn whenever a player is waiting to bat, is at bat or is running the bases.
  • Players should be instructed to have their attention focused on the batter, even when they are not actively involved in the game.
  • Younger players should use balls that are partly rubberized to minimize the risk of injury.

Excessive Pitching

  • Make sure pitchers follow league requirements for the number of innings they throw.
  • You should also check the pitch count limits recommended by Youth USA Little League and the American Sports Medicine Institute.

How Coaches Can Identify Concussions

  • The player appears dazed.
  • The player is confused about their playing assignment.
  • The player is unsure of the score or who the opponent is.
  • The player moves clumsily or has poor balance.

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Be Safe When Clearing Snow From Your Home’s Roof

snowroof_180.jpgWhen you think of winter, you may envision a beautiful white snow fall. But in Massachusetts, we know after the snow comes the hard cleanup.

For homeowners, the cleanup starts with frequently traveled areas, such as your front steps, driveway and sidewalks. It’s best to keep these areas shoveled and salted during the snowstorm as well as in the hours afterward, when freezing and snowdrifts occur. Staying vigilant is the best way to prevent slip and fall injuries on snow on your property.

Next, remember your roof and rain gutters. Neglecting your roof can be a safety hazard for your family and cause significant damage to your home.

When snow piles up on a roof, it acts as a sponge for sleet and rain. This will eventually leak and cause roof deterioration over time. The snow also puts weight on your roof, posing a threat for collapse.

More immediately, the snow can leak and freeze on driveways and walkways where someone could slip and fall. Minimize the risk with these tips:

  • Check your roof throughout a snowstorm so you are aware of snow accumulation and remove it as soon as possible.
  • Purchase a snow rake at your local hardware store so you can stand on the ground and clear snow.
  • Do not purchase a metal snow rake. It can conduct electricity if it crosses an electrical line.
  • Do not use a ladder to clear snow from your roof. The snow and ice on the ground and on your home are not stable enough to support a ladder.
  • Clear large icicles from roof overhangs, doorways and walkways.
  • Make sure you are capable of handling this cleanup yourself. If not, contact a local snow removal company.
  • Check your rain gutters for snow accumulation. Remove snow from visible areas.
  • Clean your gutters twice a year to prevent snow from clogging up.

It is important to keep your property safe by promptly removing snow after a snowstorm. Slip and falls in snow can result in severe personal injuries to you, your family and others. The law on cleaning up snow and ice have recently changed in Massachusetts, putting a greater responsibility on property owners. Click here to learn more.
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