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Food Safety Tips at Christmas – Quality Appliances Matter

Food plays an important role in the holiday festivities. It is estimated that there are over one million cases of food poisoning every year in the UK. This is more prevalent during the Christmas holidays. What can we do to minimise the risk of food poisoning?

 

There are four basic steps:

  1. Clean – wash your hands, kitchen worktops and utensils often to avoid the spread of bacteria. Clean your fridge with hot-soapy water and make room for new foods by throwing out any perishables that are out of date. Tidy as you go along and mop up spills when they happen.

  2. Cook – Ensure cooking foods to the correct temperature kills harmful bacteria. The temperature can be easily checked with an instant read digital thermometer. Always insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the food and continue to cook if the correct temperature has not been reached. Eat hot food while it is still hot.

  3. Separate – Keep raw foods away from cooked and ready to use food to avoid cross contamination. Always wash preparation boards with hot soapy water and if possible use two one for raw foods and the other for fresh produce and ready-to-eat foods. If you buy a fresh bird, you should store it in the fridge and cook it no later than two days after purchase. Stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that its juices do not drip on other foods and risk contamination. If you have bought a frozen bird, put it into your freezer until you are ready to defrost it.

  4. Chill – Always keep cold foods cold. The image above tells a story of how not to store food correctly. Bacteria can develop quickly when it sits in a warm environment. Always eat cold foods while they are cold. Throw away food that has been siting at room temperature for more than two hours. Any doubts throw it out!!

Other top tips are:

  1. Don’t eat uncooked cake and batter mixes; they contain raw egg, which could contain salmonella. Kids are particularly at risk so don’t let them lick the spoon.

  2. You can reduce the risk when making drinks by boiling fruit juices if the product has not been pasteurised.

  3. Cook stuffing separately from the turkey if you do choose to stuff your turkey remove the stuffing after cooking.

  4. Cold buffet foods can be kept cold by serving over trays of ice. Warm food can be kept hot using warming trays or crock-pots etc. Do not add new food to existing serving dishes use a clean one each time. Always provide serving utensils for every dish including crisps, peanuts etc. to prevent contamination between guests.

  5. Leftovers should be stored in the fridge once cooled. It should not have a lid or wrapping placed around it until it is a fridge temperature. Leftovers should be used within two to three days or popped in the freezer immediately for use at a later date. Do not overload the fridge; cool air must be able to circulate. Refrigeration units should be maintained at 5°C for below. A domestic freezer should be maintained at -18°C. New Design Kitchens have a range of great quality integrated fridge and freezers follow this link https://newdesignkitchens.co.uk/appliances/. Leftovers should be reheated to a temperature of at least 74°C (165°F). Liquids should be brought to the boil

Hope these tips have helped and you have a happy and healthy Christmas!