DESPITE being the time for giving the NSW Food Authority want to ensure that food poisoning is not one gift loved ones received.
CEO Dr Lisa Szabo said preparing the traditional festive feast can bring its own set of frustrations, but there are a few easy tips to follow to ensure you serve up safe and healthy food this Christmas.
"This time of year people are often hosting meals for larger numbers than they are used to, and cooking foods they're not familiar with," she said.
"The turkey is a good example, it's quite a specialty product in Australia and very few of us would be accustomed to roasting a whole bird of this size.
"An inexperienced person preparing and cooking poultry can be a recipe for disaster."
Tips for safe eating include:
- Plan ahead - a frozen turkey should never be defrosted on the bench and it can take up to three days to defrost in the fridge, don't leave it to the last minute!
- When it comes to ham, the 'ham bag' often sold with Christmas hams are a great way to keep your ham fresh and maintain quality the longest. A clean cotton pillowcase will do the trick too, and remember to regularly wash or change it.
- If you're having a seafood lunch, ensure you only buy from a reputable retailer and take an esky or cooler bag to ensure temperature control.
- Keep raw and cooked foods separate.
- If food has been on the table for more than two hours, bin it - hot food needs to stay hot and cold food needs to stay cold.
- Leftovers - refrigerate leftovers and eat or freeze within three days.
For safe summer eating advice, you can head to www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/fp/summer-eating