Christmas and holiday entertaining quiz with answers

Q1. You should always wash turkeys or other poultry before cooking:

a) True

b) False

Correct answer: b) False. Washing the raw turkey, or any other poultry, can spread food poisoning bacteria around your kitchen where it can contaminate other food, utensils and your hands. You can pat the poultry dry with a paper towel but make sure you wash your hands after handling the raw poultry.


 Q2. Your fridge should run at or below:

a) 2 °C

b) 5 °C

c) 10 °C

Correct answer: b) 5 °C . Bacteria can grow above 5 °C


Q3. If you want to refrigerate or freeze hot Christmas leftovers you should divide them into small portions and:

a) Cool them to room temperature first

b) Wait until they stop steaming first

c) Put them straight into the fridge or freezer

Correct answer: b) Wait until they stop steaming first. Modern fridges can cope with warmer food being put in them so divide the cooked leftovers into smaller portions that will cool down quicker and cover, the refrigerate or freeze as soon as the food has stopped steaming. If you have served cold food leave it in the fridge until just ready to serve and don’t leave it out of the fridge for more than 2 hours as food poisoning bacteria can grow in the food during that time.


Q4. You can tell if the turkey or other poultry is cooked safely by:

a) Tasting it

b) Using a thermometer to check it has reached 75°C in the thickest part

c) Checking meat juices aren’t pink

d) All of the above

Correct answer: b) Using a thermometer to check it has reached 75°C in the thickest part (usually the inner thigh area near the breast) A thermometer is the only way to know your food is cooked correctly to an internal 75°C.


 Q5. To make room in your fridge for perishable food you can safely remove:

a) Alcoholic and soft drinks

b) Cooked rice and pasta salads

c) Christmas hams on the bone

Correct answer: a) Alcoholic and soft drinks as drinks can safely be put on ice in a sink or other container – this will also stop your guests constantly opening the fridge door. Pickles and jams have high acid or sugar content and can also be left out of the fridge to make room for perishable food for a while. Food poisoning toxins can grow in unrefrigerated cooked rice or pasta and hams and they should always be kept refrigerated.


Q6. The Christmas ham will last for several months:

a) True

b) False

Correct answer: b) FalseYour Christmas ham will keep several weeks with proper handling. After reading the packaging labels, remove it from its plastic wrap, cover it with clean cloth soaked in water and vinegar so it doesn’t dry out, and store it in the fridge below 5°C. Reduced salt hams are now becoming popular but will not last as long as conventional hams so think how much you are going to use in the next week or so and freeze some for later.


Q7. When you are eating outdoors you should only bring salads, patés, spreads, dips and other perishable products outside:

a) As soon as the first guest arrives

b) Wait until half of the guests have arrived to bring out the perishables.

c) Have the perishable foods on the table well covered with plastic film ready for guests to arrive

d) Bring out the perishables only when your guests are ready to start eating

Correct Answer: d) Bring salads, patés, spreads, dips and other perishable products outside only when required. It may seem like a great idea to leave food out so that guests can nibble throughout the whole day, but unfortunately bacteria will also have a feast.


 Q8. If you are serving dips, salads, cold meats and other perishable foods you should:

a) Put them all out at once so guests can feel comfortable that there is enough for everyone

b) Put out half of what you have and top up as the meal progresses

c) Remove the container after it has been out for more than 2 hours, discard any remaining food and replace with a fresh container

Correct Answers: c)  Remove the container after it has been out for more than 2 hours, discard any remaining food and replace with a fresh container. After food has been at room temperature for more than 2 hours there is a risk that food poisoning bacteria have had a chance to grow. Don’t mix the fresh nibbles with ones that have been outside for some time and don’t use the same old unwashed container for fresh food as there may be on the surface.


Q.9 If you are pregnant or immune compromised you should avoid eating at parties:

a) Soft, semi-soft and surface-ripened cheeses, sliced cold meats, and paté

b) Cold sliced meats

c) Chilled seafood such as raw oysters, sashimi and sushi, smoked ready-to-eat seafood and cooked ready-to-eat prawns

d) Pre-prepared salads

e) All of the above

Correct answers:  e) All of the above. The cheeses, patés, sliced cold meats (and cold chicken), chilled seafoods and pre-prepared salads may have allowed Listeria to grow and should be avoided.

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