Food Safety Scotland

Campylobacter? Salmonella? Danger Christmas Dinners Ahead

More food poisoning cases associated with Christmas  than barbecue season

camplobacter food poisoning


For many, it is the highlight of the Christmas season. Beware! Preparing and eating a turkey dinner can also be one of the most dangerous things you do over the holiday season.

More than ten million turkeys are sold during the festive season and twenty per cent of all food poisoning outbreaks are poultry-related. December’s reports normally outnumbering any other month.

Salmonella and Campylobacter

The two most harmful bacretia than can be  found in all types of poultry are Salmonella and Campylobacter. If not killed by the correct handling and cooking procedures both can cause serious sickness and in some cases long term illness.


Washing the turkey, thought by many to be a useful way of cleaning away harmful bacteria, can actually do more harm than good. In fact, this can splash harmful bacteria around the kitchen, which can lead to the cross-contamination of other foods. Proper cooking of the turkey will destroy any bacteria, which means there is no need to wash it.

Stuffing Your Bird Can Lead to Food Poisoning

A third of cooks put the stuffing inside the turkey. But the FSA says: ‘This runs the risk that stuffing and bird itself might not cook through fully – and an under-cooked turkey could mean food poisoning.

‘The safe and easy way to enjoy crisp stuffing this year is by cooking it separately in a roasting tin.’


Of course if you want to minimse the risks to your customers, your business and your livelihood there is still time to make sure thta you and your team members have recieved REHIS approved training in either Elementary Food Hygiene or Cross-Contamination.

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