Festive food advice for families ahead of Christmas lunch

Christmas dinner needs to be properly planned.
Christmas dinner needs to be properly planned.

Families across South Tyneside are being advised to follow good food hygiene advice to ensure an illness-free Christmas.

With two thirds of families expected to enjoy roast turkey on Christmas Day, South Tyneside Council is backing the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Let’s Talk Turkey campaign.

Coun Moira Smith

Coun Moira Smith

Undercooked or raw turkey can cause food poisoning and have serious consequences, especially for children, people already in ill-health and older people.

Let’s Talk Turkey aims to help people protect their loved ones from illness and safely prepare their turkey at home. Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “Cooking for more people than normal can be a lot of pressure as it means having to work around various defrosting and cooking times.”

The FSA is offering these festive food safety tips:

*When Christmas food shopping, take enough bags to separate raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination;

*Don’t wash raw turkey. It splashes germs onto hands, clothes, utensils and worktops. Germs will be killed by thorough cooking.

*To work out the cooking time for the bird, check the instructions on the packaging. Check that the meat is steaming hot throughout, there is no pink meat visible when cutting into the thickest part and the meat juices run clear;

For further food safety information visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk

More food hygiene tips are available from the Food Standards Agency at www.food.gov.uk/lets-talk-turkey