Avoid the unwanted gift of food poisoning this Christmas
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is urging residents to take care when preparing the festive feast. Every year, there are around one million cases of food poisoning in Britain, so it’s important to protect your family and friends when handling food at home.
You can make sure you’re storing, preparing and cooking food safely by following a few simple rules from the Food Standards Agency.
• 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 up to four 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.
Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and the Environment Cllr Hayley Eachus said: “We hope that our residents enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas. We’re supporting the Food Standards Agency’s campaign, which has some really useful advice about how to safely prepare, cook, store and defrost the Christmas turkey. It’s vital that we all take extra care when handling and cooking food as food poisoning can have serious consequences, especially for children, the elderly and those in ill health.”
For more information visit: www.food.gov.uk/seasons-eatings or follow @foodgov #SeasonsEatings on Twitter for tips and advice throughout the festive period. Alternatively, more information on food safety can be found by calling the Food Safety Team in Environmental Health at the council on 01256 844844 or visit https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/food-safety.