Don’t Let Food Poisoning Ruin Your Christmas
As the festive season approaches, and thoughts turn to preparing Christmas dinner, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is reminding people of the importance of preparing food safely.
To help avoid food poisoning over the holidays, the Council is advising everyone to follow the Food Standards Agency tips and make this Christmas the most wonderful time of the year.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin said, “The Council wants everyone to enjoy the Christmas period, including the food that is such an important part of this holiday. Cooking a Christmas roast for a large gathering can be a challenge, and it is vital that all the meats consumed are stored, defrosted and cooked correctly. At the same time, leftovers need to be reheated and eaten within specific timeframes in order to avoid food poisoning.
“This is why the Council is supporting the Food Standards Agency in helping you to relieve some of the stress of preparing your Christmas meal and to keep your family safe during the festive period.”
The Food Standards Agency top tips include:
- When Christmas food shopping, take sufficient bags with you so that you can separate out raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination.
- Check the guidance on your turkey to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost it – it could take as much as 4 days.
- Don’t wash raw turkey; it just splashes germs onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.
- To work out the cooking time for your bird, check the instructions on the packaging. Check that: the meat is steaming hot throughout; there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and meat juices run clear.
- Whether you cooked your turkey from frozen or fresh, your turkey leftovers can be used to make a new meal (such as a turkey curry). This new meal can then be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.
Kathryn Baker, Head of Local Authority, Policy and Delivery at the Food Standards Agency, said, “The four Cs of food hygiene: chilling, cleaning, cooking and avoiding cross-contamination are important throughout the year, but especially at Christmas.
“In the flurry of preparing the Christmas meal, it’s important to remember to plan ahead and allow plenty of time. Remember that an average-sized turkey can take four days to fully thaw in the fridge, and it is vital to thoroughly cook a turkey so that the meat is steaming hot, there is no pink meat visible, and that the meat juices run clear.”Back