20 May 2022

1 in 4 adults have experienced a Christmas dinner disaster

(We actually think the figure should be much higher!)

Christmas turkey

How to cook Christmas Dinner safely?

It’s like something from a Christmas comedy movie - spending hours making the Christmas dinner and then see it all go badly wrong. And according to new research commissioned by safefood, one in four (27%) people in Ireland have experienced a Christmas cooking disaster. With the festive season upon us – and plenty of cooking ahead – safefood has all the tips and advice to help people have the safest, tastiest Turkey this Christmas. 

In Ireland, almost a million turkeys¹ are prepared and cooked on Christmas day, but 15% of Irish people have had issues with undercooking (6%) or overcooking (9%) their turkey. The research also showed that forgetting to turn on the oven (7%) or defrost the turkey (4%) were two of the most common causes of a Christmas Day cooking calamity.

Dr Linda Gordon, Chief Specialist Food Science, safefood commented; “Christmas dinner is one of the most special meals of the year, with turkey often taking centre stage. But it can be an overwhelming experience for some, especially if you haven’t cooked it before or aren’t used to cooking for big groups. Planning ahead is the best way to stay on top of things in the Christmas kitchen. Last year, over 80,000 people visited the safefood website between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with the most popular searches including: how to defrost a turkey; where to store it; cooking times; whether to stuff it or not; and how to know when it’s properly cooked.”

“We’re here to take the stress out of Christmas for cooks and whatever cooking method, timings or recipes you use, you know your turkey is properly cooked when there’s no pink meat in the thickest part of the breast and thigh, the juices run clear and the meat is piping hot throughout. Our website is stuffed with lots of useful resources including a turkey cooking-time-calculator, how-to videos, lots of tasty Christmas recipes. And for any last-minute questions on Christmas Day itself, our safefood Chefbot will also be available to answer questions through Facebook messenger”

Supporting safefood’s Christmas food safety campaign, Chef Adrian Martin said; “Christmas Day is one of the most enjoyable times of year. It’s a day when you can share a special, traditional dinner with your friends and family. However, it can be stressful to prepare a safe, tasty and nutritious meal for a large group of family and relations. It’s important that proper food hygiene practices are followed to ensure no one gets sick. My top tip is to have a plan on the run up to Christmas. You can find everything you need to ease the stress and help you cook safely this Christmas Day on”

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