New research from safefood reveals one quarter of us (25%) are cooking Christmas dinner for the first time this year

Leitrim Observer Reporter


Leitrim Observer Reporter

New research from safefood reveals one quarter of us (25%) are cooking Christmas dinner for the first time this year

The most important meal of the year is fast approaching. Whether you’re a seasoned Christmas chef or it’s your first time hosting the festivities; safefood has busted the biggest food safety myths and has your essential tips and advice on how to cook a cracking Christmas dinner on


According to new research* commissioned by safefood, one quarter of Irish people (25%) will be cooking their first ever Christmas dinner this year, with a further 17% claiming to be relative novices, having only cooked Christmas dinner once or twice before.


The research reveals some points of concern; 43% of people still wash their turkey, which actually spreads food poisoning germs around kitchen surfaces and on ready-to-eat foods; 47% of us plan to cook turkey with the stuffing inside, which is only recommended when using a fan oven.


58% of people leave the turkey out of the refrigerator, sometimes overnight, mistakenly thinking this is the safest way to store the food. 85% of us expect to eat leftover turkey, however, 16% plan to re-use their leftover turkey 4 days or more after Christmas day, which is not advisable. 


When it comes to confidence levels preparing the ultimate turkey roast, these vary with 22% of those surveyed claiming to be nervous, while 23% reported being confident about the task ahead.

December is the busiest month of the year on In 2018, more than 103,000 people visited the food safety website just between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to find Christmas cooking advice.


Dr. Linda Gordon, Chief Specialist in Food Science at safefood commented: “Christmas dinner is a classic that we all love, but there are still misconceptions out there about how to prepare and cook it safely. At safefood, we’re here to take the stress out of Christmas for cooks. 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.”


“If you have Christmas leftovers, these should be covered and placed in the fridge within two hours of cooking and used within three days. If you’re reheating leftovers, remember to reheat them only once until they’re piping hot,” continued Gordon. “Our website is stuffed with lots of useful resources including a turkey cooking-time-calculator, how-to videos and lots of tasty Christmas and leftovers 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, acclaimed Chef, Restaurateur and Author JP McMahon said: “Christmas is the best time of the year, but the pressure to make equally the best meal of the year is very high. Being prepared is the key, so if you have a clear idea of what you are doing and follow proper food hygiene practices, you’re off to a great start! The most important thing is that you enjoy the day, so don’t put yourself under too much pressure to cook overly complicated recipes. Plan everything out beforehand and stick to that plan. You can find everything you need to help you cook safely this Christmas Day on”