Don’t let food poisoning ruin your Christmas cheer!


As family, friends gather for festive get-togethers and parties, it is important to follow food safety tips to avoid guests getting food poisoning and ruining Christmas!

NT Health Acting Manager of Environmental Health Greer Ashby said there were some simple planning tips to increase food safety, particularly with the Territory heat at this time of year.  These include:

  1. Plan ahead. Talk to family and friends to work out who will prepare what food.
  2. Keep it cold. Store food in the fridge where possible. Transport foods in a cooler bag or esky with ice, ice bricks or frozen gel packs.
  3. Keep it hot. Transport hot food in an insulated bag so its stays warm. Reheat until it’s steaming hot before serving.
  4. Separate raw and cooked food. Keep it in separate containers and use different equipment when preparing.
  5. Be allergy aware. Ask for information about unpackaged foods.

“After a big Christmas lunch there is often lots of leftovers. Make sure you refrigerate leftovers immediately. If any foods such as meat, seafood and dairy have been left out for more than four hours, they should be thrown out,” Ms Ashby said.

“You should only reheat leftover food once. Food should be reheated until it’s steaming hot all the way through. Remember, if in doubt, throw it out.”

Ms Ashby said it was extremely important to wash your hands regularly when handling food, particularly in today’s COVID-19 environment.

“Use running water and soap to wash your hands regularly and dry them with a paper towel. Make sure you do this when you are preparing, cooking and serving food,” she said.

For further information on food safety rules visit

Media contact: Russel Guse 0436 933 810

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