A Guide To Reheating and Re-Cooking Your Christmas Meat

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It’s become tradition amongst many families where Christmas dinner leftovers are so vast, they can make another meal at the very least! While it’s extremely rare that you’ll see a stray pig in blanket left over on Boxing Day, there’s always plenty of turkey going – perfect for butties or even a curry!

To make the most of your Christmas leftovers and the rest of the the festive break, it’s important to make sure you keep your food safe to eat. These quick and simple measures can keep your meat fresh and delicious, as well as ensuring you and your family are kept away from the dangers of bacteria.

 

Cool and store your meats

Your turkey, gammon, goose or any other meat or poultry, should be cooled as soon as possible after cooking. Don’t put it in the fridge straight away as hot food can cause the temperature in the fridge to rise, causing bacteria to grow. Instead, transfer to a cool, clean dish and slice the meat into smaller portions. This will help the meat to cool down fairly quickly.

Make sure that your meat is then stored in airtight containers and refrigerated in the two hours after it has been cooked. Always keep cooked meat away from raw meat. Doing so prevents the likelihood of bacteria growing on the meat, which can cause food poisoning when consumed.

Any cooled leftovers should be consumed within three days, for safe and delicious festive food even after the day is over.

Top Tip: Make sure your fridge is 5°C or lower. The temperature your fridge is set at could surprise you.

 

Can you freeze or refreeze your Christmas meats?

Freezing your Christmas leftover meat is absolutely fine, as long as you have followed the same cooling process as above. Be sure to wrap the portions separately in cling film, to avoid the chances of freezer burn that can ruin your food.

It’s recommended that you do not refreeze leftover meats that have already been frozen and defrosted. Bacteria is more likely to grow this way, as is your chances of contracting food poisoning.

 

Reheating your Christmas meats

Before cooking, make sure your food is thoroughly defrosted. If you’re hoping to eat it then and there, you can defrost it in the microwave, using the correct settings. Alternatively, if you’re planning ahead, leave the meat in the fridge to thaw, to avoid the growth of bacteria. This can take longer than leaving it to defrost at room temperature, so bear this in mind when choosing when to take it out of the freezer.

Defrosted meats should be eaten within 24 hours of being thawed. When reheating your defrosted meat, wait until it reaches 70°C in temperature, and continue cooking for another two minutes. By then, the food should be piping hot and rid of any harmful bacteria.

 

Keep your kitchen clean

A clean kitchen is vital in ensuring that any cross-contamination doesn’t occur. It’s said that the average chopping board has over 200% of faecal bacteria than the toilet seat itself, which comes from failing to clean both yourself and the home effectively. Not only that, but sponges are one of the dirtiest items in the home. This is simply because we don’t tend to replace them for a while, allowing time for bacteria to grow on them.

By wiping down kitchen surfaces down both before and after cooking, you can seriously reduce the likelihood of bacteria sticking to and growing on them. It’s recommended that you use single use wipes, such as those from our Universal Range, that clean and disinfect surfaces at the same time.

Following these simple steps can allow you and your family to continue enjoying the never ending amount of Christmas leftovers you will most likely have, without falling ill and starting the new year happy and healthy.

Healthy & Hygienic Nails & How To Protect Them From Bacteria

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Nails are an important part of our anatomy, as they help to protect our fingers and toes from harm. Yet even though our nails do their best to look after us, why do some of us choose not to look after them?

Our nails can gather a whole multitude of dirt and germs which can lead to infections and illnesses. They can also develop problems of their own when you don’t care for them properly, so how can you make sure your nails are as healthy and hygienic as they can be?

 

Keep your hands clean to begin with

Hands are one of the biggest contributors to the spread of germs, particularly in the home. Without washing your hands, germs and bacteria can latch onto them and enjoy a journey from one place in the home to another. It’s scary to think that germs from the toilet can easily make their way onto food and kitchen utensils, just because people chose to skip a quick, cleansing hand wash.

Here in the UK, a monstrous 11% of us are considered to have ‘grossly contaminated’ hands. A lot of this is down to the faecal matter that is commonly found on hands, which is then very easily passed on to other surfaces, including mobile phones. It isn’t just bad habits, it can also lead to easily preventable deaths. According to research, only 53% of people washed their hands during the swine flu pandemic in 2009!

By simply washing your hands regularly, you can significantly improve your hand and nail hygiene; as well as preventing infections too, such as influenza, pneumonia and trachoma. Make the effort to wash your hands:

 

  • After going to the toilet
  • Before and after spending time with friends or relatives that are ill
  • After cleaning
  • After touching animals
  • After spending time outdoors
  • After blowing your nose
  • Before, during and after cooking

 

All it takes is a simple 20 second wash. Run warm or cold water over your hands, apply soap and rub all over your hands for at least 20 seconds to create a lather. Make sure you rinse off all of the soap before drying your hands with a clean towel or dryer.

Of course, there may be times when you struggle to locate a clean sink to wash your hands in. In this case, make sure you have some antibacterial hand wipes ‘handy’, whenever you head out. Our hand wipes clean both clean and disinfect hands, unlike many others available, so you can be sure that your hands and nails are happy and healthy on the go.

 

Additional ways to keep your nails healthy and hygienic

Whilst handwashing provides the basics for clean and healthy nails, there are plenty of other ways to improve the cleanliness and health of your nails.

Keep fingernails short and well manicured to reduce the amount of space that germs have to make a home in. Simply trim them to your desired length and make sure the edges are smooth and rounded off.

When washing your hands, give your nails a scrub too. There are plenty of nail brushes available in pharmacies and online that are perfect for the job. Simply add a little soap to the brush and brush underneath your nails. Rinse with warm, running water to wash away any germs or bacteria.

If you’re a nail biter, this needs to stop! Not only can biting your nails damage your teeth, it can also bring bacteria from underneath your nails into your mouth, which can then lead to infection.

Try to avoid cutting your cuticles back too far too. Whilst doing so gives a nice appearance to your nails, cuticles are important for preventing infections, so it’s worth keeping a little there to keep you and your nails healthy.

Regularly clean any nail clippers, brushes, files, or any other equipment that you use on your nails. Over time, germs and bacteria grow and develop on these items, so simply washing or wiping them with an antibacterial wash can help prevent infection.

Keeping your hands and nails healthy and hygienic is so quick and simple, it’s a wonder why so many Brits choose to skip the sink so often! By following these steps, you can feel safe knowing that you’re doing your bit to help prevent infection.

How to Prevent Salmonella and Bacteria from Ruining Your Christmas Dinner

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In the flurry of Christmas preparation, it’s likely that you won’t spend too much time thinking about cleaning underneath your toaster. Cleaning the oven might be an afterthought too, something for you to tackle in the New Year. The kitchen hosts more germs than any other room, that’s probably no mystery, and when Christmas brings in guests, friends and family, it’s even more important to make sure your kitchen is clean and ready.

The last thing you want is an elderly relative coming down with the flu and it being your kitchen’s fault. And you definitely don’t want to waste the festive period in bed with food poisoning, so here’s how to rid your home of Christmas-ruining bacteria.

 

Microwave your sponge

The one object in your home that’s harbouring the most germs is something you may often rely on, or even use to wipe down all of your surfaces – the humble sponge. The warm, moist environment it provides is like a high-rise flat for germs and allows them to flourish. Using it on pots, pans and surfaces just spreads the germs around your kitchen.

The best way to sanitise a sponge is to microwave it for 30 seconds, or even wash them in the dishwasher. This can kill the large majority of bacteria, but as soon as they’re used again they absorb more, and bacteria can multiply into 8 million cells in just 24 hours. Consider a scrubbing brush over the Christmas period when your washing up is going to pile up more than usual.

 

Brush up on your turkey knowledge!

It’s not Christmas without a turkey, but it’s not going to be a great turkey unless you follow the golden rules of defrosting, preparation and cooking. The preparation stage is when you can expose your hands, kitchen environment, chopping boards and surfaces to the most harmful bacteria.

Don’t let the stress of the Christmas dinner lead you to neglect one of the most important parts of food prep. Use a separate chopping board, utensils, dishes and bowls for anything involving raw meat, and wipe down the kitchen counters with a multi-surface anti-bacterial wipe. These can be thrown away immediately after use and stops the spread of salmonella into the dining room.

 

Don’t be liberal with your leftovers

We all know that Boxing Day is about three very important things – laziness, Christmas TV and leftovers. To make sure you thoroughly enjoy your turkey sandwiches and turkey curry, make sure you don’t keep cooked turkey at room temperature for too long, because this is the temperature that encourages the most bacteria growth.

After your family have unbuttoned their jeans and retired for the day, let the turkey cool within one to two hours, then cover and refrigerate immediately.

Despite what you might have been told, you won’t be finishing off the turkey for a week after Christmas. It’s recommended that you use leftovers within 48 hours or you run the risk of ingesting bacteria.  

Keep your guests happy and your Christmas salmonella and germ free! Wipe your surfaces, separate raw from cooked, and your guests will leave happy after they’ve eaten the entire contents of your fridge.

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