Make Christmas go further

Last updated:
11 December 2013
FSA logo
This Christmas, the Food Standards Agency is encouraging consumers to 'Make Christmas go further' by storing and using leftovers safely, as well as checking 'use by' dates. Looking after your leftovers is one of our top tips to help prevent food poisoning.

Our top food safety tips this Christmas

Follow our simple tips to help keep safe from food poisoning this Christmas:

  • Don’t wash raw turkey because harmful bacteria can easily splash from raw poultry to worktops, chopping boards, dishes and utensils. Germs that cause food poisoning can also linger for days in the sink.
  • Make sure your turkey is cooked properly by checking it’s steaming hot all the way through. Cut into the thickest part to check that none of the meat is pink, and if juices run out, they should be clear.
  • Use leftovers safely. Cover leftovers and store them in the fridge; then eat them within two days or freeze them.
  • Check 'use by' dates. 'Use by' dates appear on foods that go off quickly. It can be dangerous to eat food past this date, even though it might look and smell fine.

Ask our experts

The Food Standards Agency will be holding a #FestiveLeftovers chat with Love Food Hate Waste on Monday 23 December between 10am and noon.

Consumers can tweet us their questions about how to make the most of their food this Christmas, and about food safety, using the hashtag #FestiveLeftovers. We’ll reply with answers and suggestions.

Bob Martin, food safety expert at the Food Standards Agency, says: 'Christmas is a busy time, but no one wants to be ill due to food poisoning. Using leftover food is a good way of making your Christmas food go further. However, unless you’re careful, there’s a chance you can risk food poisoning by not storing or handling leftovers properly.'

Emma Marsh, Head of Love Food Hate Waste, says: 'Many of us buy foods at Christmas that we wouldn’t necessarily have all year round… foods that we might not be sure of the best way to store, or how long they will last, or how to use up certain leftovers. Don’t let food waste hit you in the pocket at Christmas – with a bit of planning and creativity you can make sure you enjoy all your festive treats and save money too. Visit for all our top tips on planning, portioning, and using up those tasty crimbo leftovers.'

More food safety tips

For more food safety tips before and after Christmas:

Facebook icon Like our page
Twitter icon Join our conversations @foodgov
Pinterest icon Follow us