Food safety paramount for Christmas Day

Date published: 23 December 2022

Christmas is the time to eat, drink and be merry, but it’s also it’s the right time to ask ourselves if our food has been prepared safely.

Townsville City Council is urging residents to prevent food poisoning this Christmas by remembering a handful of simple tips and tricks.

Acting Mayor Mark Molachino said food safety was worth the effort.

“Practicing good food safety takes very little time but could save you or your family from spending Christmas with food poisoning,” Cr Molachino said.

“It’s important to remember with poultry or stuffed meats to make sure it is cooked right through to reach an internal temperature of at least 75°C to destroy harmful bacteria.

“When food is kept between 5°C and 60°C, bad bacteria can start growing, so make sure your hot foods are reheated to a temperature above 60°C and your cold foods are kept chilled below 5°C.

“If you’re cooling cooked food, separate it out into smaller containers so it can cool quicker before placing the covered containers in your fridge. Covering your food helps prevent cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods. Always make sure that cooked food is stored above raw food.

“Don’t leave food out for more than two hours, because it can start growing harmful bacteria. Food that’s been left out for more than two hours should be thrown out to prevent contracting a food-borne illness.

“And if your fridge is full, don’t over-pack it as this can cause cross-contamination and prevent cold air from circulating. Using an esky with ice is a good way to keep excess food and drinks cool. Just remember to keep food completely covered by ice and top up ice regularly.”