National Defrost Your Turkey Day: Tips And Tricks For A Food Poisoning-Free Christmas

How To Defrost Your Turkey And Avoid Food Poisoning

It's National Defrost Your Turkey Day, but with a great bird comes great responsibility - namely in the form of ensuring you don't poison your entire family this Christmas.

To offer a helping hand in the defrosting department, the Food Standards Agency has released a few handy tips and tricks to help you defrost safely and efficiently in time for 25 December.

This is especially important as incorrect thawing can result in the spread of bacteria such as campylobacter, which can leave you feeling very ill over the festive period.

And nobody wants that. Right?

According to the FSA, it is hugely important to follow retailers' recommended defrosting times. "The size of your turkey will determine how long it needs to be defrosted for," reads the website.

For example, a large 11kg turkey can take up to two days to defrost.

The perfect place to defrost your turkey is in the fridge (or somewhere equally cool). This is because cold temperatures slow the growth of germs on food, keeping it safe and fresh.

While the turkey is defrosting, make sure it's covered by leaving it in its original packaging or placing it in a container to hold any thawing juices. Put the container and the turkey at the bottom of the fridge to avoid cross-contamination.

Do not, whatever you do, leave it to defrost on your kitchen worktop as this could increase your risk of food poisoning.

It's also really important to ensure your turkey is defrosted thoroughly before you cook it. Otherwise, your bird might not cook evenly and harmful bacteria could survive the cooking process.

The FSA also recommends the following to keep your family safe:

:: Check and follow the ‘use-by’ date

:: Defrost your turkey properly

:: Store your turkey properly

:: Don’t wash your turkey

:: Cook your turkey thoroughly

:: Use your leftovers carefully

If you do all of this, then you've got nothing to worry about this Christmas. Happy defrosting!