Poison Prevention Tips



  1. Wash hands and wash counter tops before preparing food.
  2. Store food at proper temperatures. Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, eggs, and cooked vegetables cannot be left out above 40 degrees F.
  3. Wash cutting boards, utensils, dishes, and your hands with hot, soapy water if they have been in contact with raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
  4. Use a meat thermometer to be sure your bird or other foods have been cooked safely.
    Turkey is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.
  5. Leftovers should be reheated thoroughly to a temperature of 165 degrees F.


  1. During the busy holiday season, take a few minutes to poison-proof your home. This is the time of year that your daily household routine becomes disrupted and you aren’t always able to be as careful as you’d like. Poison-proofing is imperative if young children live in the home or are paying a visit.
  2. Carbon monoxide detectors are available. They can protect a household against this deadly gas, which is odorless and colorless.
  3. Check warning cards for poisonous plants such as holly and mistletoe. 
  4. Keep antifreeze out of the reach of children. While antifreeze is an important part of winter vehicle maintenance, accidental consumption of antifreeze in even small amounts can lead to severe poisoning and death.
  5. Make sure that small ornamental lights and small tree ornaments are out of the reach of infants and toddlers. Check warning labels that come with these products.

Sources:  Giant Food, Maryland Poison Center


The Maryland Poison Center is certified by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) as a regional poison center providing poisoning triage, treatment, education, and prevention services to all Marylanders. This service is staffed by pharmacists and nurses (who have specialized clinical toxicology training) 24 hours a day, every day of the year. All of our specialists have been certified by the AAPCC as specialists in poison information. On average, each specialist has over six years of experience managing poisoning and overdose cases. We have the best qualified, best trained staff available ALL the time in order to best meet the needs of the state.

In addition to the knowledge, skill, and experience of the poison specialists, the director of the program is board certified in clinical toxicology and the medical director is boarded in emergency medicine as well as in medical toxicology. And, just to make sure we've got all the bases covered, we have additional specialized consultants available as well.

The Maryland Poison Center has been a service program of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy since 1972. The service has grown and changed quite a bit over the years. During our first year, the Maryland Poison Center received 5,600 calls. In 2003, we were contacted on over 61,000 calls! Despite the increase in call volume, our commitment to providing the best quality poison triage, treatment, education, and prevention services has never changed.

Giant Food LLC, headquartered in Landover, MD, operates 201 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, and employs more than 25,000 associates. Giant stores in New Jersey and Delaware operate under the Super G name.  Included within the 201 stores are 172 full-service pharmacies.