Advice on how to avoid food poisoning

Date published: 07 December 2017

Residents are being advised how to avoid food poisoning this Christmas.

The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) ‘Let’s Talk Turkey’ campaign which offers tips on how to safely prepare turkey at home.

In the UK two thirds of households choose to have roast turkey for their Christmas dinner, which if raw or undercooked could cause food poisoning and have serious consequences especially for children, people already in ill-health and older people. There are an estimated one million cases a year of food poisoning.

The campaign aims to help people protect their loved ones from illness by providing food hygiene tips covering buying a turkey through to storing the leftovers safely.

The key points to remember are:

  • When buying food avoid cross-contamination by taking sufficient bags to separate raw and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Check regularly that your fridge is cold enough – it should be below 5°C.
  • Check guidance to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost the turkey – it could take as much as four days.
  • Do not wash raw turkey, it splashes germs onto hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.
  • Work out the turkey’s cooking time by checking the instructions on the packaging.
  • Check that the turkey is cooked thoroughly. The meat should be steaming hot throughout, there should be no pink meat visible when the thickest part is cut into and the meat juices should run clear.
  • Previously cooked turkey (even if it was frozen) can be used to make a new meal, such as a turkey curry. This new meal can be frozen, but make sure it is only reheated once.

Councillor Jacqueline Beswick, the council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Raw and undercooked turkey can make people really poorly and ruin your celebrations so it is important to follow these simple tips.”

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