New research reveals 78% of people dont know how to cook their turkey!

New research from safefood has shown that while ownership of meat thermometers is increasing, over three quarters of people (78%) are not aware of the correct temperature to which turkey should be cooked to. 1 A meat thermometer helps to remove the guess work from cooking a turkey, ensuring a tasty and safe meal for all.

safefood is launching its annual Christmas campaign to take the stress out of cooking Christmas dinner. This year, the ‘Trust the Meat Thermometer’ campaign is encouraging people to use a meat thermometer when cooking turkey, poultry or any meat product that needs to be cooked all the way through. The safefood website www.safefood.net is stuffed with practical food safety tips, guides and recipes and last year more than 150,000 people visited the site between December 24th and 25th for help and advice.

Launching the campaign, Dr Gary Kearney, Director of Food Science, safefood said, “"Christmas dinner is one of the most anticipated meals of the year, especially this year. If there's one item to bring to your Christmas kitchen, it's a trusty meat thermometer. Take your turkey out of the oven and pop the thermometer in the thickest part between the leg and breast. When it reaches 75 degrees Celsius it’s cooked and ready to eat. For poultry, like turkey and chicken and other meats that need to be cooked all the way through, it is important they are cooked until piping hot, with no pink meat and the juices running clear. Using a meat thermometer adds an extra layer of reassurance. Our website has lots of practical tips and advice for this Christmas including how long to defrost a frozen turkey, what size turkey you might need and how to deal safely with leftovers."

Gareth Mullins, Chef

Gareth Mullins, Chef and safefood's Trust the Meat Thermometer campaign ambassador, said, "I am delighted to be part of safefood 's campaign this year. Cooking Christmas dinner, for some, can be the most stressful meal of the year as you want it to be as delicious as possible but with so many ingredients and different timings to manage it can be tricky. So, I’d encourage anyone cooking Christmas dinner this year to buy a meat thermometer. They are affordable, easy to use, and are the fail-safe way of making sure your meat is cooked. Using a meat thermometer couldn't be simpler. I will be posting easy- to -follow videos on my Instagram page so you can see exactly how to use a meat thermometer, as well as some of my tips on making this Christmas dinner the best one ever.”

Among those surveyed for the safefood research, 27% were concerned about undercooking their turkey and being sure it was safe to eat while 7% were concerned about overcooking it and serving a dry turkey. While turkey and ham remain the most commonly cooked meats on Christmas day at 72% and 60% respectively, 17% of people will cook beef, 16% will cook chicken and 8% will enjoy a meat-free Christmas dinner.

The safefood campaign is also being supported by the Association of Craft Butchers of Ireland, who will be distributing free cooking leaflets and displaying 'Trust the Meat Thermometer' stickers in their meat cabinets during Christmas.”

For more information, visit www.safefood.net.

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