Take simple steps to avoid food poisoning this Christmas

Christmas cooks across Edinburgh are being urged to follow simple tips when cooking in the home, as part of a campaign to avoid food poisoning.

The City of Edinburgh Council is helping Food Standards Scotland to promote its festive safety campaign, encouraging people to make sure that falling ill is the last thing on their list.

Despite 43,000 food poisoning infections, 5,800 GP visits and 500 hospital admissions across the country every year, figures show three quarters of Scots (78 per cent) think they’re unlikely to fall ill from food which they have prepared in their own home.

The campaign uses a video with tongue-in-cheek humour to get the message across, featuring Santa Claus stricken by a bout of food poisoning.

It is hoped that the food safety advice will lead to more people following the Four Cs of food safety: cleaning, cooking, chilling and avoiding cross-contamination, with specific advice on storage, preparation and cooking of turkeys and leftovers.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Edinburgh’s Transport and Environment Convener, said: “Christmas is a special time of the year, but it can also be hectic in the kitchen, especially when cooking for a large number of people. Every year, some families still suffer an unpleasant dose of food poisoning which can ruin the memory of the big day. 

“We hope that people in Edinburgh take Food Standards Scotland’s tips on board so that everyone can enjoy a safe and healthy Christmas.”

Food Standards Scotland’s six simple food safety tips this Christmas are:

• Defrost turkey in the bottom of your fridge or in a cool place;
• There’s no need to wash your turkey – this can splash germs;
• Cook turkey all the way through until juices run clear;
• Filling your fridge can raise the temperature – keep it at 0 to 5°C;
• Freeze or eat leftovers within two days, and only reheat once;
• Wash your hands after touching raw meat.

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