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Infection Prevention & Control Festive News

Christmas Turkey a lovely treat,

With all the trimmings a pleasure to eat,

Follow these tips to ensure it doesn’t become ……

The Christmas you remember because you had a sore tum!


Campylobacter is considered to be responsible for more than 280,000 cases of food poisoning each year. About four in five cases of campylobacter poisoning in the UK come from contaminated poultry. Although it does not normally grow in food, it spreads easily and only needs a few bacteria in a piece of undercooked turkey, or bacteria transferred from raw turkey onto other ready-to-eat foods, to cause illness.

Prevent the chain of transmission with these handy tips

  • Follow the recommended defrosting time. The size of your turkey will determine how long it needs to be defrosted for which in some cases can be up to 2 days.
  • Defrost your turkey in the fridge. Cold temperature slows the growth of bacteria on food. Leaving on the kitchen counter at room temperature could increase your risk of food poisoning.
  • Cover the turkey while defrosting, leave in the packaging or put it in a container to ensure any juices do not contaminate other food in the fridge.
  • Always keep raw meat on the lowest shelf in the fridge and do not store with cooked products or food products that will be eaten raw.
  • Don’t wash meat prior to cooking and handling as washing meat will create aerosols that will spread bacteria across kitchen surfaces.
  • Always wash hands immediately after touching raw meat and before doing anything else e.g. putting the meat in the oven. Clean the tap with a disinfectant wipe after touching it following the touching of raw meat to prevent re-contamination of your hands.
  • Always use a separate chopping board for meat and do not use the same knives for cutting raw and cooked meat unless they have been washed in between doing so.
  • Ensure meat juices run clear prior to serving and if you can measure the temperature of the inside of the Turkey then ensure it reaches 75 degrees Celsiu
  • Once cooked do not leave on the side for any longer than 2 hours and then store in a fridge covered over with foil and eat within 3 days.

Enjoy! and have a lovely Christmas. Sally Bird and the Infection Prevention & Control Team

For further information see Food Standards Agency link -

 (with thanks to Fiona Branton – Citycare especially for the rhyme)


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