Christmas – planning ahead

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Some simple planning at Christmas can protect your family and friends, so talk to them early to work out who will prepare what food. Arrange to cook the riskier foods like meat and turkey on site where the Christmas dinner is going to be and use a meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked to 75°C in the thickest part of the meat.

Ask guests who are travelling for more than an hour to bring safer foods that don’t need refrigeration or keeping hot, such as cakes, biscuits and Christmas puddings. If they like to cook they can always come earlier and help you in your kitchen. Make sure your kitchen and utensils are clean and that everyone washes and dries their hands before handling food.

Those that live less than an hour away could bring hot food in an insulated bag but make sure it is reheated to 75°C before serving.

Those living less than an hour away could also bring refrigerated items like salads and desserts. Refrigerated items should be packed in a cooler or esky straight from the fridge and just before leaving the house. Surround the food with ice bricks, frozen gel packs or frozen drinks. If you are having a BBQ any raw meat or poultry should be packed at the bottom of the cooler in an enclosed plastic container where it can’t drip onto other foods.

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