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Some Top Tips on Christmas Food Safety 

Don't let the Turkey kill you  

The countdown to the Christmas Season has begun…. here I give you my 8 top tips for ensuring

Food Safety over this festive foodtime.

  1. Thinking about your shopping – don’t buy your food too far in advance. Particularly those items with a use by date. If you do buy in advance; freeze items as soon as you can after buying them
  1. Make sure you have separate shopping bags for raw and ready to eat foods to make sure there is no cross contamination
  1. Before shopping do make sure you have enough space in the fridge and freezer for what you are intending to buy! Remember all that extra fizz you need to chill too!
  1. If you need to defrost meats do this in the fridge on a tray or container to catch all the juices! And do make sure foods are defrosted thoroughly before any other prep/ cooking; a large (N.B. 7kg/ 15lb bird can take 4 whole days to defrost! So, beware)
  1. To turkey prep- there is no need to wash your bird, simply unwrap, add to the tin and pop in the oven! The less surfaces it touches the less you will spread the bacteria naturally on the Turkey. You can pop some flavourings in the cavity- think citrus fruits/ onions etc. but do wash your hands thoroughly!
  1. Stuffing is best kept separate as this means the centre of the bird will cook thoroughly, stuffing will mean the bird will take longer to cook.
  1. Make sure you cook you bird thoroughly- better to delay the Christmas meal than to make yourselves ill

Heat the oven to 180oC or 350oF or Gas Mark 4

Cooking times – you know the weight (remember to ask your butcher!) You can use a clean probe in the thickest part if you have one – temp should be 75o C

For a Turkey under 4.5 kg / 10 lbs

Will feed 8-10 people

Allow 45 mins per Kg / 2.2 lbs plus 20 mins

For a Turkey between 4.5- 6.5 kg / 10- 14.5 lbs

Will feed up to 12 people

Allow 40 mins per Kg/ 2.2 lbs

For a Turkey over 6.5 kg / 14.5 lbs

Allow 35 mins per Kg/ 2.2 lbs

Top Tip -It is best to let the Turkey rest for ¾ hour before attempting to carve it!

  1. Serve and enjoy- but what about those left overs? Cool them quickly away from the pets, and get them in the fridge within the hour, and use within a couple of days, or freeze straight away.

Plan ahead and keep calm! I love a list and a time line of when I need to do things as a reminder.

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