How safe is your Christmas dinner?

christmas dinner

22 December 2016

  • Simple advice for a safe and healthy festive dinner
  • Don’t dish up food poisoning
  • Remember: Chilling, Cooking, Cross-contamination and Cleaning

Follow the “four Cs” of catering and enjoy a safe and healthy Christmas is the message from a leading microbiologist at Aston University.

Professor Anthony Hilton, Deputy Executive Dean of the School of Life and Health Sciences, advises Chilling, Cooking and Cleaning are the main top tips when entertaining, whilst Cross-contaminating is the major one to avoid.

Anthony has filmed a short video message on the importance of good food hygiene for anyone catering over the forthcoming festivities.

“Christmas is a time for getting together and sharing great company and good food with family and friends,” said Anthony. “But the last thing you need is that unwanted guest for dinner – food poisoning. 

“By following the ‘four Cs’ you can avoid the misery of a ruined celebration. The first C to consider is ‘chilling’ which involves moving items out of the fridge that don’t need to be in there, such as beer and wine, to make room for the turkey and ensuring the fridge temperature is below eight degrees centigrade.  

“Cooking is the next consideration and it’s important to get the temperature to above 70 degrees centigrade so that all parts of the meat are cooked. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can check your turkey is cooked by cutting across the chunky part of a thigh and seeing if the juices run clear and none of the meat is pink. 

“It is important too to ensure your cooked turkey – or any other cooked meat – is not placed on a chopping board or surface where raw meat has been, as this could cause bacteria to transfer and make you ill. The risk of cross-contamination also applies to handling both raw and cooked food, or using the same utensils. Always clean surfaces and wash chopping boards, utensils and your hands thoroughly in hot soapy water in between handling raw and cooked food.”

More information on food safety can be found on the Food Standards Agency website www.food.gov.uk


Notes to the editor

  • Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston University has been always been a force for change. For 50 years the University has been transforming lives through pioneering research, innovative teaching and graduate employability success. Aston is renowned for its opportunity enabler through broad access and inspiring academics, providing education that is applied and has real impact on all areas of society, business and industry. True to Aston’s Coat of Arms which bears the word ‘Forward’, in 2016 Aston will hold a year-long anniversary celebration to recognise its heritage and achievements, but with a focus to drive forward the next stage in the University’s exciting journey. www.aston.ac.uk/50
  • Aston's Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Alec Cameron, is the principal academic and executive officer of the University. Alec has overall responsibility for Aston's executive management and day-to-day direction.

For more information, call Susi Turner, Press & PR Officer, on 0121 204 4978 or email s.j.turner@aston.ac.uk