While Christmas can be a great time to catch up with family and friends, it can also be potentially dangerous if you do not take proper care when preparing, cooking, and storing your Christmas feast.
According to the Food Safety Information Council, there are an estimated 5.4 million cases of food poisoning each year in Australia and one fifth of these cases are linked to practices in the home.
Symptoms can range from mild stomach pain and diarrhoea to serious vomiting and dehydration.
While anyone can experience foodborne illness, pregnant women, babies, the elderly and the infirm need to take particular care, as they have fragile immune systems.
To make sure everyone has a merry Christmas:
- Separate raw and cooked food, as well as utensils and plates used in their preparation
- Don’t leave food out. Germs thrive in temperatures between 5 and 60 degrees Celsius
- Perishable food should be stored at or below 5 degrees Celsius
- Ensure that cooked food remains heated to at least 60 degrees Celsius
- Refrigerate any leftovers immediately and eat within 2-3 days