Barbecues with friends and family feasts with tables laden with turkey and seafood are some of the popular holiday season traditions.
But with home fridges overloaded with festive goodies combined with the ritual summer heat, Myall Coast Hospitality students say storing and serving food safely is particularly important at this time of year.
By following a few simple food safety rules, student Tia King-Stow said Christmas Celebrations will be memorable for the right reasons.
“Keep the temperature of the refrigerator between 1-4°C, use a fridge thermometer to check and don’t overfill it so the cold air can circulate effectively,” she said.
“As the weather gets hotter and temperatures increase, so will the activity of food poisoning bacteria.”
Tia said to ensure foods remain chilled when shopping, take cooler bags with ice bricks to pack cold items in and ensure they are put straight into the fridge or freezer when you return home.
Using separate chopping boards for meat, poultry and vegetables, defrosting the turkey on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator and washing hands thoroughly before handling food will also reduce the likelihood of food poisoning.
Tia said food poisoning from a dodgy turkey or a rancid prawn is guaranteed to ruin your Christmas, so if in doubt, always throw it out.
According to the NSW Food Authority, over four million Australians fall ill to food poisoning each year which can be avoided by following the food safety rules.
Food safety is major component of the Hospitality course the students are studying at Bulahdelah Central School.
By Daniel SAHYOUN