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Follow the 4C's for a Christmas free from food poisoning

Published on Thursday, 19th December 2019

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Every year nearly 10 million turkeys are sold during the run up to Christmas but poultry such as turkey, goose and chicken can cause food poisoning if not cooked properly.

“For many of us, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a turkey - but many people find themselves cooking for more people than they are used to cooking for,” said Vikki Flowers, Environmental Health Manager.

“From buying the turkey, to storing it correctly, cooking it thoroughly and carefully handling leftovers, we are urging people to maintain good food hygiene by following the 4C’s and  protecting your loved ones over the festive period.”

The 4C’s are:

  1. Cleaning – make sure you clean work surfaces and chopping boards
  2. Cooking – ensuring you cook your turkey thoroughly. Follow the instructions on the packaging and check that the meat is steaming hot throughout; there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and the meat juices run clear
  3. Chilling -  cool quickly and ensure your turkey leftovers are stored in the fridge - these can be used again to make a new meal, such as turkey curry, which can then be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.
  4. Cross contamination – Always wash your hands before preparing food and take enough bags for your Christmas food shop so that you can keep raw and ready-to-eat food apart. To prevent cross-contamination store raw meat, vegetables, fish and shellfish on the bottom shelf of your fridge and ready to eat food above.

For more food safety information this Christmas, visit