Don't be a turkey this Christmas
1:49pm 15th December 2010
City of York Council’s food safety team is sending a warning yuletide message to all residents asking them to think about food safety issues this Christmas.
With over 370,000 cases of campylobacter food poisoning occurring last year and 26,500 cases in December 2009 alone, the team has provided some easy tips and hints to help local residents avoid unnecessary risk.
Anna Carson, senior Environmental Health officer at City of York Council, said:
“It’s important to check all food is cooked thoroughly for your Christmas dinner, whether you are preparing a meal at home or eating out at a restaurant. There is a peak in food poisoning cases over Christmas, so it’s always better to be safe and check.”
There are four key points to remember, the 4Cs of food hygiene: cooking, cleaning, chilling and avoiding cross contamination.
Cooking- Make sure you cook your turkey all the way through until its piping hot, while making sure that the juices run clear and there is no pink meat. Most turkeys come with cooking instructions on the pack, but as a rough guide in a oven pre heated to 1800C:-
-For a turkey under 4.5kg (10lb), allow 45 minutes per kg plus 20 minutes.
-For a turkey weighing between 4.5kg (10 lb) and 6.5kg (14 lb), allow 40 minutes per kg.
-For a turkey over 6.5kg (14 lb), allow 35 minutes per kg.
Cleaning- When preparing the food always make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before starting. Also make sure your work tops are clean and dry before preparing food.
Chilling- Keeping your fridge at or below 50C will help stop germs growing and spoiling your leftovers. Cool your left-over meat within one to two hours and store it in your fridge for up to two days. Leftovers put into the freezer can be kept for longer.
Avoiding cross contamination- Using different chopping boards and knifes for raw and cooked meat will help to reduce cross contamination. Keep your turkey and other raw meats at the bottom of the fridge and don’t wash meat before use, it can splash germs around your kitchen.
Residents are also reminded that if they are eating out this Christmas they can check www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk to find out the food hygiene standards at local pubs and restaurants.
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