Risk Management

Dodging Food Poisoning at Christmas

It’s not long now until Christmas dinner will be taking centre stage on our dining tables. Fridges are bursting full with festive food and it’s party time. How do you avoid giving the unwanted gift of food poisoning to your guests?

Bacteria can spread from raw meat and poultry to worktops, chopping boards, dishes and utensils.

Here are some tips to keep your Christmas food safe:

  • After touching raw poultry or other raw meat, always wash your hands with warm water and soap, and dry them thoroughly.
  • Don’t wash your turkey before your cook it. If you do, bacteria from raw poultry can splash onto worktops, dishes and other foods. Proper cooking will kill any bacteria.
  • Always clean worktops, chopping boards, dishes and utensils with warm soapy water after they have touched raw poultry or meat.
  • Never use the same chopping board for raw poultry or meat and ready-to-eat food without washing it thoroughly with warm soapy water first.

Plan your cooking time in advance to make sure you get the bird in the oven early enough to cook it thoroughly. A large turkey can take several hours to cook properly, and eating undercooked turkey (or other poultry) could cause food poisoning. Where available, follow cooking instructions on the pack.

Three ways you can tell a turkey is cooked:

  • the meat is steaming hot all the way through
  • there’s no pink meat when you cut into the thickest part of the bird
  • the juices run clear when you pierce the turkey or press the thigh

If you’re using a temperature probe or food thermometer, ensure the thickest part of the bird (between the breast and the thigh) reaches at least 70C for 2 minutes.

For further information please visit the Food Standards Agency( Link – https://www.food.gov.uk/ )

Source: Food Standards Agency