Christmas turkey could cause food poisoning
It has been found that washing turkey under the tap
before cooking does not clean it from bacteria. In fact, it only causes more of
a breeding ground for nasty germs.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) conducted a survey of 2000 UK consumers,
covering their Christmas eating habits, and discovered that 80% believe that
washing a turkey under the tap before cooking it, cleans it of bacteria. The FSA
found the opposite to be true.
According Judith Hilton, head of microbial safety at the FSA, "It's not
possible to wash off the germs that cause food poisoning with
Spreading the germs when washing
washing process can cause bacteria-containing water to splash from the raw meat
to worktops, chopping boards, dishes and utensils. "By washing your
turkey, you are actually more likely to spread the germs than get rid of them,"
Campden and Chorleywood Food
Research Association (CCFRA) has been commissioned by the FSA to find out what
the optimal cooking conditions for an unstuffed turkey is.
CCFRA cooked birds using standard methods - that is, breast up, with
seasoning, use and subsequent removal of foil, and piercing to allow fat to
The temperature of the birds was measured at various points in the process
to see how long they took to reach the optimal temperature of 72Â°C.
Microbiological safety and sensory quality was also assessed.
CCFRA results recommended cooking times and instructions for three
different sizes of poultry.
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