Date Published: 7 December 2009

Almost half of consumers find getting everything ready on time for Christmas dinner challenging!

Health News from Ireland (Eire)
Healthy Food - Fresh Fruit for good nutrition.

Enjoy a safe and tasty turkey with safefood

New research commissioned by safefood reveals that 48% of people in the Republic of Ireland found the most challenging aspect of Christmas dinner was getting everything ready on time. This was followed by making sure the turkey was properly cooked and safe to eat (16%) and making sure the meal tastes good (11%). The research also revealed that although consumers think that cooking Christmas dinner is hard work, they still say it is worth the effort (47%).

Dr. Gary Kearney, Director, Food Science, safefood said:

We know that cooking Christmas dinner is a challenging, but rewarding part of Christmas. And with 81% of people usually cooking for between 3 and 10 people on Christmas Day, the home kitchen can be a very busy place. Our advice this year will help make it easier to cook a safe and tasty turkey in a fan assisted oven and there are lots of ways consumers can get the exact cooking time to suit their turkey, whether stuffed or unstuffed.?

He continued,

The length of time you cook your turkey is a key factor in ensuring it is safe and tasty, but our research reveals just 8% of people work out the cooking time based on the weight of their turkey. 20% of people said they thought their turkey was cooked by either looking at it or by the smell, but these methods don't guarantee that the turkey is thoroughly cooked.

The best way to ensure a turkey is cooked properly is by calculating the correct cooking time based on the weight of the turkey and the stuffing. Why not pick up our FREE leaflet and cooking timer from your local butcher or text our SMS service and get a cooking time straight to your mobile phone. You can also call our helpline on 1850 40 45 67, try our FREE cooking calculator application for iPhone or visit our website, where you can view video clips of award winning chef Neven Maguire storing, preparing, stuffing, cooking and carving the turkey.

Whatever type of oven, cooking time or recipe you use, make sure to check the turkey is thoroughly cooked before serving. Pierce the thickest part of the breast and thigh with a clean fork or skewer and make sure that the juices run clear. Check that there is no pink meat left and that the meat is piping hot throughout. An under-cooked turkey may cause food poisoning and no one wants that for their family and friends at Christmas time,”Dr. Kearney added.

Supporting safefood's guidelines, Chef Neven Maguire said;

Christmas dinner is undoubtedly one of the most special meals of the year, but preparing a tasty and nutritious meal for family and friends is pointless if the proper food hygiene practices are ignored. Any leftovers should be cooled and refrigerated within two hours of cooking and eaten within three days, making sure they are piping hot and reheated only once. My recipe for a turkey and leek pie is a delicious way to use up the leftovers and is available on the safefood website.?

Turkey is the meat of choice for Christmas with 94% of people saying they eat turkey on Christmas Day. 83% of people said they buy a fresh turkey, with 11% purchasing a frozen turkey. Consumers should remember to thoroughly defrost their frozen turkey prior to cooking and carefully wash their hands in warm soapy water if they come into contact with raw turkey.

 

Source: safeFood (Ireland).

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