Christmas food hygiene and safety messages
Monday 12 December 2011
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has teamed up with Channel 4 to sponsor its food recipe web pages over the holiday season, which allows the FSA to highlight its Christmas food hygiene and safety messages.
Unless you take care food poisoning can be an unwelcome Christmas guest, so the FSA has a range of information to help, including tips for preparing and cooking your turkey. But keeping Christmas dinner safe is not just about taking care with turkey. Recent Agency research found that consumers are aware of the risk of harmful germs from raw meat, but are less aware of the risks from raw vegetables.
Jacqui McElhiney, food safety expert at the Food Standards Agency in Scotland, said: 'Preparing Christmas dinner can be a challenge, as most of us aren’t used to cooking for so many people. It can be easy to make mistakes in the kitchen that increase the risk of food poisoning.
'One of the main rules to remember is to avoid cross-contamination from raw meat or poultry on to other foods. Keep all raw food, whether it’s your turkey or vegetables, separate from ready-to-eat foods. Always wash your hands before and after handling food but don't wash your turkey, as that will only spread germs. Instead make sure that it gets cooked properly, and that means right the way through.'
It is estimated that around a million people suffer from food poisoning in the UK each year, but following some simple steps in the kitchen can help protect you and your family. For advice and information on preparing a safe Christmas dinner, go to the links below.
Jacqui McElhiney is available for interview from Wednesday 14 until Friday 23 December. Please telephone 01224 285120 to arrange a time for interview.
External links The Food Standards Agency has no responsibility for the content of external websites
6th Floor, St. Magnus House,
25 Guild Street,
Aberdeen AB11 6NJ
Tel: 01224 285120 or 285127
Fax: 01224 285167