According to the FSA, there is an estimated one million cases of food poisoning in the UK every year. Here are their guidelines to keep you well-fed and merry this Christmas. Here’s some tips to ensure you’re not one of those statistics this Christmas.
Defrosting your turkey
- Make sure you check the guidelines on the packaging and allow enough time
- Always defrost your turkey in a container in the fridge, not at room temperature
- If your turkey doesn’t have instructions, you can calculate the time it will need to defrost. In a fridge around 4°C, allow around 10-12 hours per kg
- Make sure your turkey is fully defrosted before cooking, otherwise it may not cook evenly
Did you know: Your fridge should be below 5°C
Preparing your turkey
To minimise the chance of harmful bacteria spreading, be sure to do the following things:
- Use different utensils, plates and chopping boards for ready-to-eat and raw food
- Wash your hands with soap after touching raw meat
- Don’t wash raw turkey as this will splash germs onto your hands, clothes and surfaces. Thorough cooking will kill any bacteria present
- Do not prepare food if you have just had food poisoning or have an infectious illness. For illnesses like norovirus, allow 48 hours after symptoms have ended, before preparing food
Cooking the turkey
If you’re roasting a whole bird, be sure to cook the stuffing separately, rather than inside. Stuffed birds take longer to cook and may not be cooked thoroughly.
Always ensure meat is steaming hot and cooked throughout. Cut into the thickest part of the meat and check there is no pink meat, and that the juices run clear. In a whole bird, this is the area between the leg and the breast.