Did you know that Christmas is a prime time for food poisoning? Whether that is from undercooked meat or due to contaminated surfaces not being cleaned as often, the chance of giving your guests food poisoning is a real risk.
Check out this post for some top tips on preparing your Christmas dinner whilst minimising the risk of Food poisoning.
Looking after the Turkey
Undercooked meat, especially poultry, is a big cause of Food poisoning and when dealing with such a big bird it can be hard to ensure that your Turkey is fully cooked. There are a few key things to make sure that you look after your Turkey to prevent Food Poisoning. The first step is to make sure your Turkey is fully defrosted before cooking, this can take around 3 days in the fridge for a 6kg bird. Ensure that you do not wash your raw turkey as this just spreads the germs further. Follow the instructions that came with your bird as depending on whether you have a full turkey, a crown or a rolled breast and the weight of your joint will all affect the heat and time it takes to cook. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the big at the thickest part to ensure it is cooked through.
There are a lot of different elements of a Christmas Dinner to put together so it is even more important to ensure there is no cross-contamination between uncooked meats and other food. Make sure that surfaces are wipes with antibacterial and a clean cloth or disposable antibacterial wipes. I would also recommend that you use disposable latex gloves when handling the meat. This ensures that you can remove and dispose of them and prevent contaminating any surfaces around you.
Keep Food refrigerated
If you are putting on a buffet there is always the temptation to get prepared early. This would mean leaving food to become room temperature and a breeding ground for bacteria that caused food poisoning. This is especially important for cheese, sliced meats and dips. Only keep these items out of the fridge whilst serving and them return to the fridge. You can always get them out again later.
Freeze the leftovers
Picking at leftovers is one of the joys of Christmas but if you have too much left over you can be eating it for days. You can freeze the leftover cooked meat so if you won’t eat it all within 24 hours, portion it up and put some away in the freezer for another day.
If you want to find out more about the bacteria that cause food poisoning check out this article on the BBC.
For more information on cooking your poultry including information on using a temperature probe and how long to cook your joint then visit food.gov.uk for their season’s eating guide.
For more information on Hand Hygiene check out the #GloveIsAllYouNeed campaign by Brosch Direct.