Christmas is a time that largely revolves around food. Due to this, food poisoning and contamination is of a higher risk! People tend to have food left out for lengthy periods of time, children are playing with pets and then touching food and the kitchen is often chaos. Food poisoning is of major concern for at risk populations like the elderly, pregnant women, immunocompromised individuals and children – these individuals can contract a food borne illness easier that other people.
The tips below will help to ensure your food is safe to serve over the Christmas period!
- A fridge should be kept below 5 degrees Celsius to prevent/ slow the growth of microorganisms
- Return perishable food straight to the fridge once you have finished using it
- If a food requires refrigeration, do not eat it once it has been left out for 2 or more hours
- Always defrost food in the fridge – not on the bench!
- Take an esky and freezer packs when going on a picnic
- Food must be kept at 60 degrees Celsius or above
- Leftovers must be reheated to at least 60 degrees Celsius
- There must be no pink areas in cooked mice, sausages, chicken or pork
- Before eating, the juices from chicken must be clear
- Marinades that have contained raw meat juices must be cooked to boiling point
- Do not let utensils used for raw meat come in contact with other foods that are to be kept raw or not cooked to 60 degrees e.g. salad
- Ensure raw meat cannot drip on other foods in the fridge – keep meat on the bottom shelf
Keep food clean
- Always wash hands before eating – including children’s hands
- Keep utensils and cooking surfaces clean
- Avoid making food for others if you are unwell
- Keep animals away from food
- Cover food with netting or a table cloth to prevent insects landing all over it
Read that label
- Always eat foods prior to the use-by date
- Be cautious of foods past their best before
- Use the products cooking instructions as your guide
- Be aware of any of your guests allergies/ intolerances and familiarise yourself with the food products allergens
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist. If you have questions about healthy eating, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns.