A research study in Ireland commissioned by safefood found that 43% of 1000 people surveyed wash turkey before cooking it. This practice can spread food poisoning germs around kitchen surfaces, utensils, hands, and ready-to-eat foods. Even the smallest drop of water or overspray from faucets can carry enough pathogens to cause food poisoning.
The same survey also found that almost one in six of the 1000 respondents said they leave turkey out of the refrigerator, sometimes overnight, mistakenly thinking this is the safest way to store and thaw it. They also found that one quarter of Irish people will be cooking their first ever Christmas dinner this year, with another 17% of survey respondents claiming to be novices, having only done it once or twice before. It is vital that those cooking in the home for loved ones and food businesses are aware of the dangers present with food prepared and cooked in an unsafe manner.
Apart from the cooking and service of food the subsequent storage can also present a risk. 16% of Irish respondents to the survey plan to re-use their leftover turkey four days or more after cooking, which is not advisable.
Both food businesses and the public must safeguard against food safety risks. This can include buying from a reputable supplier, store food correctly to prevent deterioration, cook food safely and thoroughly and serve promptly.
The EHAI run a food safety course for that gives practical, no-nonsense advice which allows a food business avoid the common pitfalls. It is a course written and designed by EHOs, who are intimately aware of the legal requirements and the best method of compliance.