Christmas dinner warning to Lichfield and Burntwood residents

A turkey in the oven

A turkey in the oven

People in Lichfield and Burntwood are being urged not to serve up food poisoning with their Christmas dinner.

Lichfield District Council is adding its voice to the Food Standards Agency, who are running a Christmas food safety campaign this year. The campaign warns Christmas cooks to take care when preparing their festive birds.

Top tips to cut down the chances of giving dinner guests food poisoning, when preparing a turkey, are:

  • don’t wash it
  • defrost it thoroughly
  • cook it fully

The agency’s research has shown that many people wash their turkeys before cooking, but washing meat or poultry can cause harmful food poisoning bacteria to splash onto worktops, chopping boards, dishes and utensils, where they can linger for days.

Partially defrosted turkeys are another common festive food safety blunder. When it’s completely thawed there won’t be any ice crystals inside the cavity of the bird. You can also test it with a fork to tell whether the meat feels frozen.

Thorough cooking will ensure that any food poisoning bugs are killed. To make sure that the turkey is cooked properly, check it is piping hot all the way through. Cut into the thickest part (between the breast and thigh) to see that none of the meat is pink, and the juices run clear.

Councillor Ian Pritchard, Cabinet Member for Housing, Health and Environmental Protection at Lichfield District Council, said:

“We are backing the Food Standard Agency’s campaign to hopefully reduce the chance of anyone’s Christmas being ruined by food poisoning. It’s really important to take extra care when cooking meat and to follow the safety advice. I hope everyone has a very happy and healthy Christmas.”

For more information on how to prepare your Christmas dinner safely, or to use an online turkey cooking or defrosting calculator, visit the Food Standard Agency’s website www.eatwell.gov.uk.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.