Thursday, 23rd November 2017
Food & Drink Article
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This Month's Magazine
Safe Food at Christmas

Safe Food at Christmas

Don't let food poisoning spoil your family's Christmas. Follow the simple recommendations contained below for a happy and healthy Christmas.

You can’t be too careful these days, especially with poultry.

CHRISTMAS POULTRY
If frozen, follow the instructions on the wrapper. Thaw thoroughly in a cool room. See the table below for thawing/cooking times. Check the weight of your bird together with any stuffing against the left hand column then read off the correct thawing and cooking times. Take special care with large birds.
Remove giblets before cooking and preferably DO NOT STUFF the bird. Cook stuffing separately otherwise stuff the neck area only.

Ensure that any blood and water from defrosting bird does not drip or contaminate other food, work surfaces, or cutting boards. Separate raw and cooked foods and clean all surfaces/equipment well. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw poultry.

Cook at a high temperature (Gas mark 7/425ºF/220ºC) for 30-45 minutes, then lower temperature (Gas Mark 3/325º/F170ºC) for remaining cooking time.

Test if poultry is cooked with a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – juices should run clear with no sign of red or pink – SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

Place any leftovers in the fridge (below 5ºC) within one and a half hours. Do not keep leftovers for more than 3 days.

REMEMBER THAW WELL, COOK WELL AND STORE WELL


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Weight (lbs)

Weight (kgs)

Thawing Time

Total Cooking Time

 

 

 

 

6

2.7

24 hours

2 hours and 20 minutes

8

3.6

24 hours

3 hours and 45 minutes

10

4.5

24 hours

4 hours and 10 minutes

12

5.4

26 hours

4 hours and 30 minutes

14

6.2

30 hours

4 hours and 50 minutes

16

7.2

30 hours

5 hours and 10 minutes

18

8.0

32 hours

5 hours and 30 minutes

20

8.9

34 hours

5 hours and 45 minutes

22

9.8

36 hours

6 hours

24

10.7

38 hours

6 hours and 15 minutes

26

11.6

40 hours

6 hours and 30 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER FOODS

  • Check fish is fresh – look for clear bright eyes and firm texture
  • Check fruit (including dried) and nuts are fresh with no blemishes, mould or insects’ holes. Store in dry, cool conditions.
  • Ensure dairy products (including milk, cream, yoghurt, soft cheese, and eggs) are kept refrigerated when not in use.
  • Keep fresh meat and defrosting foods at the bottom of the fridge to prevent dripping onto other foods.
  • Avoid eating pate, soft cheese and foods containing raw eggs if you are pregnant, elderly or have low resistance to infection. You should also avoid giving these foods to babies and young children.
  • Put chilled and frozen foods in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you can.
  • Try not to overload your fridge - it's essential that you keep turkey leftovers, other cooked meats, trifles etc. refrigerated - store drinks elsewhere if necessary.
  • Keep the refrigerator/freezer at the correct temperature and use a thermometer. Refrigerator – below 5C and freezer below – 18C.
  • Observe microwave cooking and standing times and adjust according to the microwave’s wattage.
  • Check “use-by” dates on pre-packed and perishable foods. No food should be sold after its “use-by” date. Foods sold after their “best before” date may be sold provided they are safe to eat.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before preparing food.

Should you have any queries about food you may check the official National Food Standards Agency at www.food.gov.uk.



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