Tips to avoid dishing up food poisoning this Christmas

Don’t risk a dose of food poisoning this Christmas – these simple steps can help you avoid a kitchen nightmare. 

Our top tips for preparing festive food

Put raw and ready-to-eat food in separate shopping bags

Take enough bags so you can separate your Christmas food shop. This helps avoid the risk of raw food contaminating other items.

Make sure your turkey is completely defrosted 

If you buy a frozen turkey, check the packaging to see how long it needs to defrost – it could take as long as four days.

Don’t wash raw turkey

It just splashes germs onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.

Make sure the meat is completely cooked

Work out the cooking time for your turkey by checking instructions on the packaging. Check the meat is steaming hot throughout, there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part, and the meat juices run clear.

Using up leftovers

Whether you cooked your turkey from fresh or frozen, leftovers can be used to make a new meal, like turkey curry. This new meal can be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.

More food safety information 

Read more from the Food Standards Agency and the council’s food safety team: