Food Safety at Christmas

Christmas is a time to get together with your family but it can also be a danger time for possible food poisoning because the weather is hot, the fridge is overloaded and we’re cooking for more people than usual.

Here are a few simple rules which will help you enjoy this festive season:

Before preparing foods and between handling raw meat or raw chicken and cooked food wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water and dry thoroughly;

  • Ready to eat food should always be defrosted in the fridge or microwave and never on the bench top;
  • Plan to leave enough time to defrost frozen meats safely making sure it is fully defrosted before it’s cooked;
  • Make sure your hands and kitchen utensils are really clean and dry before you start preparing your meals;
  • Storing turkey, chicken and meat in the fridge correctly is important and if it is in the fridge place the meat in a leak proof container so that juices do not drip onto other foods which are ready to eat such as salads;
  • Christmas ham can keep for several weeks with proper handling. Once opened remove it from the plastic wrap and cover with a clean cloth so it doesn’t dry out and follow instructions on the packaging;
  • Only slice as much cooked meat as you require in one sitting as the meat will keep longer unsliced. Ensure it is stored in the fridge well away from any raw meat;
  • Seafood should be purchased from a reputable source and transported home in a cooler and quickly placed into a fridge;
  • Keep hot foods steaming hot over 60°C and cold foods refrigerated at or below 5°C. 

Have a safe and happy Christmas with family and friends this Festive Season.

For more information on food safety, please see the Queensland Health website https://www.health.qld.gov.au/public-health/industry-environment/food-safety/default.asp

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