Don’t be a turkey victim this Christmas
Don’t be a turkey ‘victim’ this Christmas
For many families across the UK, turkey will be the centerpiece of their menu this Christmas. A veritable feast undoubtedly lies in store but the traditional festive food highlight should be treated with the utmost care to avoid harmful bacteria spreading and causing potential infection.
Usually found in poultry, Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, with over 280,000 cases confirmed each year.
Addmaster CEO Paul Morris, who founded the market leading supplier of technically innovate additives, provides his step-by-step guide to the most hygienic way to prepare your turkey this Christmas.
- Taking your turkey home
I would urge everyone to be alert from the moment they select their turkey of choice.
Recent FSA research has shown that bacteria from packaging can transfer to the outer lining of a Bag For Life, so be sure to use separate bags for raw meat, ready-to-eat food and non-food items.
If there is one thing you guarantee there is space for in the fridge this Christmas, make it the turkey.
You should ensure that your refrigerator remains between the temperature of 0c and 5c. A fridge thermometer might be a wise investment to keep tabs on this.
Also, make sure you store your turkey below ready-to-eat food to avoid any meat juices dripping and spreading bacteria.
If you’re opting for a frozen bird this year, make sure you give it enough time to fully defrost before cooking.
For defrosting in the fridge you should allow eight hours per kilogram, while at room temperature you should aim for around three hours per kilogram. This process should be completed by December 23 so you are able to leave it in the fridge for two days once fully defrosted.
One of my biggest tips is to avoid washing or rinsing the bird before cooking at all costs. Bacteria can otherwise spread very quickly across kitchen work surfaces and other equipment, raising the risk of infection.
Once in the oven, ensure thorough cooking of the turkey – the temperature should be reaching at least 75c in the thickest part of the meat. Don’t just rely on the colour of the meat to judge you have cooked it properly. Instead invest in a meat thermometer, like the ETI Thermometer with Biomaster.
- Cold turkey
Once the Christmas turkey is carved, check any leftovers are cool before covering and storing in your fridge and ensure it doesn’t come into contact with raw meat.
Be sure to get all your turkey sandwiches, curries or pies eaten within two days, or you can freeze the rest of the meat if you’re not likely to finish it off straight away.
Follow these five steps and make sure you make it to the New Year without picking up a nasty bug!