Keeping ourselves healthy and safe

Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas with the St Hugh’s Hospital infection control team!

It’s our job to make the hospital safe and healthy for patients, visitors, and staff, and we take every opportunity we can to spread vital messages about how important that is… and what we all can do in our everyday lives, too.

Over the last 12 days on the St Hugh’s social media feeds, each day we’ve been highlighting a hint or tip, with help from the Food Standards Agency, to keep you and your family healthy this festive season… after all, one present we could all do without is food poisoning!

Here’s the 12, all wrapped up…

  1. Be careful not to overfill your fridge as this can raise the temperature.
  2. In your fridge, be sure to store raw meat so drips from it won’t land on other food.
  3. Always wash your hands before preparing food.
  4. Do not wash your turkey (or other festive poultry) before cooking it… this could contaminate other surfaces. It’s unnecessary, as cooking the bird will kill any bacteria present.
  5. Do not use the same chopping boards or utensils for raw meat and other ready-to-eat or fresh foods.
  6. Wash all chopping boards and utensils that have been used with raw meat after use.
  7. Wash your hands immediately after handling raw meat or poultry… as touching door handles, utensils, work surfaces and so on with contaminated hands will spread nasty bacteria.
  8. Using cloths or tea towels to wipe work surfaces will only spread bacteria all around your kitchen. Use once and wash them or use disposable wipes.
  9. Ensure that any frozen meat or poultry are thoroughly thawed. This will vary depending on the type of meat and the quantity/weight, so follow the instructions.
  10. Always store all defrosted meats or poultry in the fridge.
  11. When cooking your turkey (or other poultry), check that it’s cooked all the way through before serving – use a food thermometer inserted into the centre, or pierce the thigh and check the juice running from it is clear.
  12. Allow any leftovers to cool, cover them, and then refrigerate or freeze within a couple of hours.

For more tips and in-depth advice on Christmas food safety, visit the Food Standards Agency webpage at