Selby District Council's Environmental Health team is urging residents across the district to have a safe and happy Christmas, by making sure their festive dinner is properly prepared and cooked.
Under-cooked turkeys and chickens can carry dangerous bacteria that can lead to food poisoning, so it is vital that food is properly thawed, cooked thoroughly and work surfaces are cleaned effectively.
Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Chair of the Environment Board for Selby District Council, said:
"Selby District Council is helping residents to have a safe and happy Christmas by offering top tips on how to store and cook poultry, and also how to avoid cross contamination in the kitchen when preparing your Christmas meal. A serious bout of food poisoning could put you out of action for the entire Christmas and New Year period."
Ten million turkeys are sold during the festive season and studies show that 20% of food poisoning outbreaks are poultry related, with most cases recorded in December.
Top tips to safely prepare Christmas turkey:
· Buy a turkey that's realistic for your needs - the bigger the turkey the more difficult it is to prepare and cook safely.
· Try to use any leftovers ideally within 48 hours.
· Store raw meat at the bottom of the fridge where it can't drip onto other foods.
· Wash hands, chopping boards, utensils and work surfaces after they have been in contact with raw meat.
· Make sure the turkey is properly thawed before you cook it. The labels on frozen turkeys will generally include defrosting instructions
· Cook meat thoroughly to ensure you avoid any bacteria surviving the cooking process.
· Always make sure that poultry is piping hot all the way through and that any juices run clear.
· Don't leave food out all day. Better to put out small amounts at a time, so that what has been on the table has just been cooked or just come out of the fridge.
This year people can also go online to open doors on the advent calendar and find out more about food safety over Christmas and New Year, including how to remain safe in your home over the festive period. This can be accessed by visiting www.selby.gov.uk