Don’t let an upset stomach ruin your special time with family and friends – take these precautions from Queensland Health to ensure you have a healthy Christmas!

Queensland Health has launched their “Christmas alphabet of tips” to help merry-makers avoid food poisoning over the Christmas period.

“Over the festive period the weather is hot, the fridge is overloaded and we’re usually cooking for more people than our immediate families,” says Director of Food Safety Standards and Regulation Tenille Fort. “All of these factors can conspire to provide perfect conditions for food poisoning bugs to appear in our food and result in stomach upsets, vomiting or diarrhoea.”

Not the type of gift anyone wants to receive on Christmas Day!

“By following a few simple rules and using common sense you can help ensure your family and friends enjoy the festive feast this year,” says Fort.

Follow these “Christmas alphabet tips” from Queensland Health to help family and friends avoid funny tummies this Christmas:

Cook poultry, rolled & stuffed roasts, sausages and mince dishes fully, and remember – only steaks, chops and solid pieces of meat can be eaten rare. 

Hams will keep for several weeks with proper handling – remove them from plastic wraps, cover with clean cloth to stop them drying out, and follow the instructions on the packaging.

Refrigerate leftovers immediately after a meal or when food has stopped steaming.

Ice your soft drinks and alcohol, pickles, jams and other acidic condiments in your esky to leave plenty of room for seafood and other perishables in the fridge.

Seafood should be purchased from a trusted supplier, transported home on ice and refrigerated immediately.

Turkeys must be fully defrosted before cooking and juices should run clear when your bird is ‘cooked through’.

Make sure your raw Christmas food is stored correctly at the bottom of your fridge so that its juices can’t drip on to ready-to-eat food like salads or desserts.

Always ensure leftovers are heated to at least 70°c for at least two minutes and are steaming all the way through.

Stuffing slows down cooking and cooling so it is best cooked separately.

Had any Christmas Day food disasters? Tell us your tips for keeping food fresh and healthy in the heat over Christmas! And check out our tips for making the table look as great as the food!