Turkey washing warning
Almost two-thirds of people in Wales wash their turkeys before cooking them – increasing the risk of food poisoning.
Women aged 45 to 54 are the most frequent turkey-washing offenders, according to a survey by the Food Standards Agency.
Although washing the turkey is regarded as a way of removing invisible germs and dirt, the agency said that harmful bacteria can easily splash from raw meat and poultry to worktops, chopping boards, dishes and utensils.
Steve Wearne, director of Food Standards Agency Wales, said, “Most people think they know how to prepare the Christmas meal with their eyes shut. But we’ve found that there are still a couple of Christmas food safety clangers served up each year.
“Turkey washing seems to be the most common blunder. Remember, it’s not possible to wash off all the germs that cause food poisoning with water.
“They are killed by heat. By washing your raw turkey, you’re actually more likely to spread the germs than get rid of them.”
The survey also found that more than a quarter of people in Wales are not sure about how to tell if their turkey is cooked.
To ensure that a turkey is cooked properly, make sure it is piping hot all the way through, cut into the thickest part to check that none of the meat is pink, and if juices run out they should be clear.
Celebrity chefs Gary Rhodes, Ainsley Harriott and Dudley Newbery will feature in a series of Food Standards Agency radio adverts this year to help people avoid food poisoning this Christmas.