CHRIST­MAS AD­VICE FROM SAFE­FOOD

HOW TO STORE BUY AND DE­FROST A TURKEY WITH MONEY SAV­ING TIPS

Bray People - - LIFESTYLE -

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.

TURKEY TALK

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

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