Let’s Talk Turkey
To help people stay safe during the festive season, Sefton Council is supporting the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to ensure residents are protected from food poisoning.
With two thirds of UK households choosing to have roast turkey for their Christmas dinner, the FSA is offering tips on how to you can safely prepare turkey at home.
From buying turkey, right through to storing leftovers, there are a number of food hygiene tips that you can follow to protect your loved ones over the festive period.
The FSA offers the following guidance for shopping for, preparing and storing turkey:
- 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 as much as 4 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.
- You can use previously cooked turkey (even if it was frozen) to make a new meal, such as a turkey curry. This new meal can be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.
Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “For many people, it wouldn’t be Christmas without turkey. However, raw and under-cooked turkey can cause food poisoning and have serious consequences especially for children, people already in ill-health and older people.
“This is why Sefton Council is supporting the FSA in helping you to cook your festive bird with confidence this Christmas.”
Dr Kevin Hargin, Head of Foodborne Disease Control at the FSA, comments: “Every year, there are an estimated 1 million cases of food poisoning in the UK; the easiest way to protect your family this Christmas is to ensure you store and cook food safely.
“We have put together the ‘Let’s talk turkey’ guide, which offers tips around chilling, cleaning, cooking and avoiding cross-contamination, while also explaining some of the science behind our advice.”
For more food safety information this Christmas, visit www.food.gov.uk/lets-talk-turkey or follow @foodgov #LetsTalkTurkey on Twitter for tips and advice throughout the festive period.