FSA issues festive turkey preparation advice

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued guidance for consumers planning to prepare turkey over the festive season. 

According to the British Poultry Council, 66% of the population’s households eat turkey over the Christmas period. 

Dr Kevin Hargin, head of foodborne disease control at the FSA, said: “I know Christmas can be a stressful time of year for some people, especially when cooking for a crowd. Which is why this year we have put together the ‘Let’s talk turkey’ guide, which offers some helpful tips on how to store, prepare and cook your turkey, and safely handle leftovers to ensure that you keep your loved ones safe from food poisoning this Christmas.” 

Advice:

  • When Christmas food shopping, take sufficient bags with you, so that you can separate out raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Check the guidance on your turkey to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost it – it could take as long as 4 days.
  • Don’t wash raw turkey; it just splashes germs onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.
  • To work out the cooking time for your bird, check the instructions on the packaging. Check that: the meat is steaming hot throughout; there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and meat juices run clear.
  • Whether you cooked your turkey from frozen or fresh, your turkey leftovers can be used to make a new meal (such as a turkey curry). This new meal can then be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.

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