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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Safe Food at Christmas

STOP PRESS
Eating out this Christmas - don't just check the menu, check the food hygiene rating of the business before you dine by visiting:-

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Don't let food poisoning spoil your Christmas - follow the simple recommendations below for a happy, healthy and safe Christmas!

KEY THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Avoid cross contamination between raw and cooked foods
  • Cook food to the correct temperature
  • Store food safely
  • Prepare and cook food in a safe and hygienic kitchen
  • Wash you hands frequently
  • Organise your refrigerator

CHRISTMAS POULTRY

  • Follow the instructions on the wrapper.
  • Thaw thoroughly in a cool room. See the table below for thawing/cooking times. Check the weight of your bird together with any stuffing against the left hand column then read off the correct thawing and cooking times. Take special care with large birds.

  • Remove giblets before cooking. Preferably DO NOT STUFF bird. Cook stuffing separately otherwise stuff neck area only.

  • Ensure blood and water from defrosting bird does not drip or contaminate other food, work surfaces, or cutting boards. Separate raw and cooked foods and clean all surfaces/equipment well.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw poultry.
  • Cook at a high temperature (Gas mark 7/425/220) for 30-45 minutes, then lower temperature (Gas Mark 3/325F170) for remaining cooking time.
  • Test if poultry is cooked with a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh juices should run clear with no sign of red or pink SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

  • Place any leftovers in the fridge (below 5) within one and a half hours. Do not keep leftovers for more than 3 days.

  • REMEMBER THAW WELL, COOK WELL AND STORE WELL


Weight (lbs)

Weight (kgs)

Thawing Time

Total Cooking Time

6

2.7

24 hours

2 hours and 20 minutes

8

3.6

24 hours

3 hours and 45 minutes

10

4.5

24 hours

4 hours and 10 minutes

12

5.4

26 hours

4 hours and 30 minutes

14

6.2

30 hours

4 hours and 50 minutes

16

7.2

30 hours

5 hours and 10 minutes

18

8.0

32 hours

5 hours and 30 minutes

20

8.9

34 hours

5 hours and 45 minutes

22

9.8

36 hours

6 hours

24

10.7

38 hours

6 hours and 15 minutes

26

11.6

40 hours

6 hours and 30 minutes

OTHER FOODS

  • Check fish is fresh look for clear bright eyes and firm texture.
  • Check fruit (including dried) and nuts are fresh with no blemishes, mould or insect holes. Store in dry, cool conditions.
  • Ensure dairy products (including milk, cream, yoghurt, soft cheese, eggs) are kept refrigerated when not in use.

  • Keep fresh meat and defrosting foods at the bottom of the fridge to prevent dripping onto other foods.
  • Avoid eating pate, soft cheese and foods containing raw eggs if you are pregnant, elderly or have low resistance to infection. You should also avoid giving these foods to babies and young children.
  • Put chilled and frozen foods in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you can.
  • Try not to overload your fridge - it's essential that you keep turkey leftovers, other cooked meats, trifles etc. refrigerated - store drinks elsewhere if necessary.
  • Keep the refrigerator/freezer at the correct temperature and use a thermometer. Refrigerator below 5C. Freezer below minus 18C.

  • Observe microwave cooking and standing times and adjust according to the microwave wattage.
  • Check se-bydates on pre-packed and perishable foods. No food should be sold after its se-bydate. Foods sold after their est beforedate may be sold provided they are safe to eat.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before preparing food.

For more information on food safety/hygiene issues and our work visit our Food Safety web pages.

The Food Standards Agency and the Food and Drink Federation also produce a range of leaflets , posters and information packs which provide useful information for food businesses and members of the public. Most leaflets are free and available in community langauges.