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VIDEO: Aberdeenshire pupils explain why you shouldn’t wash your turkey this Christmas

Primary school children have filmed a video to warn Christmas Day cooks not to wash their turkeys or risk feeling fowl over the holidays.

Youngsters from Midmar School were selected to record the sweet promotional video for Food Standards Scotland to make people stay vigilant when it comes to food hygiene.

The trio warn that turkeys must be cooked properly so that there is no pink meat and the juices run clear, otherwise you could be in for a bout of sickness and diarrhoea.

An expert from Food Standards Scotland echoed their sentiments, and added that people should avoid washing turkeys under the tap in case bugs get on to other surfaces, food and utensils.

Jacqui McElhiney, head of food safety science for the agency, said: “Old habits die hard and while Christmas traditions are wonderful, some, such as washing the turkey like dad or gran always did, can do more harm than good by spreading harmful bugs around the kitchen.

“It’s also really important to make sure your turkey is cooked properly – follow any cooking instructions on the label and check that it is fully cooked through. Using a meat thermometer is your best bet to check that the meat is at least 75C at the thickest part – it should be steaming hot, with no pink meat and juices that run clear.”

She added: “We found out that 50% of people like to wash their turkey under the tap. We strongly advise against doing this. Proper cooking will make sure bugs are killed.

“For most people it leads to vomiting and diarrhoea for around four or five days, not something people want to have especially at this time of year. For the very young and the very old it can have more serious consequences and can result in hospitalization. It’s really important that people pay attention to food safety.”

Pam Hepburn, a nurse at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness will be working the night shift on Christmas Day and added: “We’re expecting 74,000 calls over the two festive holiday weekends, with more than 12,000 of these on Boxing Day. I would advise people to avoid the need to call us by following a few simple hygiene rules to safeguard against food poisoning.

“Make sure food is properly defrosted and cooked, as well as thoroughly washing your hands when preparing food.”

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