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Cook safe during Christmas and New Year

Posted on the 21st December 2016

With over 500,000 cases of food poisoning a year in the UK, residents in Lancashire are being encouraged to prepare and cook food safely this Christmas and New Year to avoid making friends and family ill.

Christmas is often a time when friends and family come together and many people find themselves cooking more than usual. To prevent food poisoning over the festive period health professionals at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust are providing some top tips to stay safe.

For a food poisoning free Christmas, follow the Christmas cooking code:

  • Cleaning – Sanitise hands/work surfaces/chopping boards
  • Cooking – Cook food thoroughly
  • Chilling – Cool leftovers quickly and keep in the refrigerator (keep your fridge below 5c)

Julie Dziobon, Lead Nurse at the Infection Prevention and Control Team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"Nobody wants to spend the festive period ill in bed or in hospital, which is why it’s so important to prepare food carefully and take care in the kitchen. A common misconception is that you need to wash your turkey but this isn’t true, adequate cooking will kill any bacteria so by washing poultry you may spread bacteria throughout your kitchen via the splashing it causes."

Poultry meat is responsible for an estimated 244,000 cases of food poisoning. Things such as washing hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before handling food and after handling raw meat and also washing dish clothes and tea towels regularly will reduce the risk of food poisoning.