CHRISTMAS ADVICE FROM SAFEFOOD
HOW TO STORE BUY AND DEFROST A TURKEY WITH MONEY SAVING TIPS
CHRISTMAS is a time for enjoying those traditional foods which make this time of year so special. And whether cooking for yourself, your family or friends, safefood has some tips to help make it the safest, tastiest Christmas.
GETTING YOUR KITCHEN READY
Ahead of the festive rush give your fridge a good clean with warm soapy water; you can also re-arrange the shelves to make room for your turkey - remember to store it on the bottom shelf so any drips won’t land on ready to eat foods which could spread germs leaving these foods unsafe to eat. You should also ensure any foods past their use-by-date are thrown out. If you need to make extra fridge space, you can store vegetables and drinks (except milk and fruit juices)
in a cool place.
Fresh turkey - If you’re buying a fresh turkey this year, try to buy as close to Christmas as possible and store it in your fridge or freezer as soon as you can. Ideally, a fresh turkey stored in your fridge should be cooked within two days of purchase. Alternatively, why not ask your butcher to store it for you - they can refrigerate it properly and you can collect it at a time that suits you. For the journey home, poultry and other meats should be packed separately from ready to eat foods, ideally in a cool bag.
Frozen turkey - For a frozen turkey or any frozen poultry or meat, the safest and recommended way to defrost it is to place it on a dish or tray on the bottom shelf of your fridge. You should allow 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds/1.8-2.2kg and give yourself plenty of time – remember, it can take up to 3 days to fully defrost a frozen 7.5kg/15lb turkey so give yourself plenty of time! You’ll know it’s fully defrosted when: the body is soft the legs can be moved and there are no ice crystals inside the cavity Once thoroughly defrosted, a previously frozen turkey cooks the same way as a fresh turkey (for cooking times see www.safefood.eu)
MONEY SAVING TIPS
Christmas can often feel like a time to spend but buying more food than you really need can be expensive and often leads to overeating or waste. Planning what you buy will help your money go further. Here are some tips: Plan your meals over Christmas and then make a shopping list – and try to keep to it Avoid ‘special offers’ – except for things on your list Only buy what you need What size turkey to buy? – you might be fed up with it before it is all eaten so here’s a guide For 4-6 people, a 3-4kg turkey should do For 6-8 people, a 4-5kg turkey should do For 8-10 people, a 5-6 kg turkey should do. Freeze leftovers – you can use them up during January which will save you money Look for loose vegetables – and just buy what you need Look for good value fresh fruit – your supermarket often has special offers Canned fruit – especially canned fruit in juice – makes a convenient alternative to fresh fruit and can be used to make healthy puddings You can find more lots more advice including great recipes by visiting www.safefood.eu, finding us on Facebook or Twitter, or calling the safefood helpline ROI - 1850 404 567