GET READY FOR NATIONAL DEFROST YOUR TURKEY DAY!!!…… AND WALK OFF THOSE EXTRA CHRISTMAS POUNDS!!!
GET READY FOR NATIONAL DEFROST YOUR TURKEY DAY!!!
To help people stay safe during this festive season, Croydon council’s food safety team is urging residents to take special care when preparing for the big day’s dinner.
The team is supporting the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on National Defrost Your Turkey Day on Monday 22nd December.
“This day will prompt Christmas cooks to start thinking of the defrosting process in plenty of time and avoid getting caught out” said a council spokesperson. “A typical large turkey can take two days to defrost.
“Only one in four people get it right by defrosting their turkey in the fridge. “The FSA is concerned that many risk getting an unwelcome gift of food poisoning this Christmas.
“Incorrect thawing provides a platform for bacteria such as campylobacter to spread, leaving diners with a turkey treat that looks and tastes delicious but contains a hidden risk that can’t be seen, tasted or smelled – and can ruin the New Year.
“From late December 2013 to the start of January 2014 more than 3,000 cases of campylobacter were confirmed in England and Wales – an indication that more care needs to be given to the preparation, storage and consumption of turkey in the home during the festive period.
Cllr Mark Watson, Croydon’s cabinet member for safety, said: “Nobody wants a bout of food poisoning at any time – and they certainly don’t want it over the Christmas and New Year period.
“That’s why it’s important that anybody who has a frozen turkey follows the FSA advice and defrosts the bird in their fridge in plenty of time for Christmas Day.”
The FSA advises that when preparing your turkey from frozen you should:
follow the retailer’s recommended defrosting time; the size of your turkey will determine how long it needs to be defrosted for (a large 11kg turkey can take up to two days to defrost);
defrost your turkey in the fridge if possible or somewhere cool; cold temperature slows the growth of germs on food and will keep it safe and fresh.
cover the turkey while defrosting, leave in the packaging or put it in a container to hold any thawing juices, and place it at the bottom of the fridge to avoid cross-contamination;
defrost thoroughly, as otherwise your turkey may not cook evenly and harmful bacteria could survive the cooking process; and
put raw turkey in the bottom of the fridge until ready to use; leaving on the kitchen counter at room temperature could increase the risk of food poisoning.
What is campylobacter?
Campylobacter is the generic name for a number of species of bacteria that can cause food poisoning in people. They cause more cases of food poisoning in the UK than salmonella, E. coli and listeria combined.
Campylobacter bacteria are commonly found on poultry meat. Between 50 per cent and 80pc of cases of campylobacter food poisoning in the UK and other EU countries can be attributed to poultry sources, mostly to raw poultry meat.
Why is it important?
Campylobacter poisoning can lead to sickness including abdominal pain, diarrhoea, disability and even worse. Those most at risk are children and older people.
If you want your Christmas dinner to be remembered for the right reasons, follow the FSA’s advice on the recommended safe practices when preparing, cooking and storing turkey.
Find out more about the FSA’s top tips at: www.food.gov.uk/christmas2014
For advice on handling poultry safely, visit www.food.gov.uk/chicken
(Source: Croydon council press release.)
…… AND WALK OFF THOSE EXTRA CHRISTMAS POUNDS!!!
A new hi-tech nature trail has been unveiled in Happy Valley and Farthing Downs, in the south of the borough of Croydon.
The trail uses QR codes*, which can be scanned by smart phones and similar devices to tell visitors about the areas’ wildlife and history as they follow a scenic trail through woodland and wildflower meadows. The trail is ideal for families, school groups and anyone with an interest in their local environment.
Visitors will be able to learn about the burial mounds of Saxon chiefs, rare wildflowers and orchids, butterflies, birds, and a whole host of other fascinating features.
Using a QR reader app, visitors will be able to scan the distinctive codes, and be directed to a web page which gives background information in text and pictures about what they can be seen around them.
Cllr Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “This is a terrific use of modern technology, giving people the means of finding out all sorts of interesting facts about two of Croydon’s most beautiful spots.
“It will probably be of particular interest to younger people who might not have been so inclined to read the previously available guide booklets.
“This brings the nature trail firmly into the 21st century, and, as owner of Happy Valley, the council would like to thank the City of London Corporation, which owns Farthing Downs, and the Friends of Farthing Downs for their work in helping to bring this project to life.”
Farthing Downs and New Hill is a 95 hectare (235 acre) area of chalk grassland lying within the London green belt.
Farthing Downs was designated in 1975 as part of the Farthing Downs and Happy Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for having the ‘most extensive area of semi-natural downland habitats remaining in Greater London… in particular the species-rich chalk and neutral grasslands…’
A long history of human activity has been recorded on the site with archaeological finds and features dating from the Neolithic, Iron Age and Roman periods. Farthing Downs was cultivated up to the 2nd century AD and afterwards used as pasture for grazing animals.
Apart from grassland, the site contains a diversity of other habitats including scrub, old hedgerows and pockets of ancient woodland which support a wide variety of species of plants and animals.
Happy Valley is Croydon Council’s largest area of public open space, and is managed in association with Quadron Services Ltd. It comprises 101 hectares (250 acres) of beautiful chalk downland, hay meadows and ancient woodland. Most of the site is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) indicating that it is of national importance for wildlife.
The site is carefully managed as both a visitor attraction and a wildlife resource and has received many accolades for the work which takes place here, including 11 Green Flag Awards, the Britain in Bloom Conservation Award (2009) and London’s Best Country Park Award (2013).
*abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (Wikipedia)
Friends of Farthing Downs website: www.friendsoffarthingdowns.co.uk
(Source: Croydon council press release.)