Don’t let your festive food get festy!

Published on 02 December 2019

Festive food platter

Christmas is a fabulous time for enjoying great food with friends and family. Here are some simple steps to take to ensure that your food is safe to eat and doesn’t get festy spoiling your celebrations with a bout of food poisoning.

  • If cooking in advance ensure you cool foods rapidly. Decant large volumes into smaller containers, stir regularly and place into fridge once they have stopped steaming.
  • When reheating foods ensure they are heated thoroughly and stir any liquids to ensure that there are no cold spots.
  • Make sure your fridges are coping with all the extra food that is in them. Check the temperature is 5oC or less. You may need to turn it to a colder setting while it is so full.
  • Minimise the time that potentially hazardous food such as salads, meats, desserts with cream or custard are stored at room temperature. It is best to put out a small amount on display and keep the rest in the fridge. As the first batch gets used up bring out more.
  • If potentially hazardous foods have been on tables at room temperature for more than 2 hours don’t put it back into the fridge to eat later. Use all potentially hazardous food that has been stored at room temperature within 4 hours or throw it out. Bacteria can breed to levels that can make people sick in 4 hours.
  • Keep foods covered as much as possible to minimise contamination risk especially if outside with flies around.
  • Don’t keep your leftovers for too long! Refrigerated ready to eat foods that are not going to be heated should be used within 5 days.


If you want to learn more there is free food safety training available online at:

Merry Christmas from the City of Onkaparinga Health Team, wishing you and your families a joyous and healthy holiday season.