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Safety advice

Here are our top tips to a safe festive season:

Fire safety

  • Check the bulbs in fairy lights and replace any that are blown
  • Don't leave fairy lights on when you go out or go to sleep
  • Don't overload sockets
  • Don't let bulbs touch anything that burns easily such as paper
  • Don't attach decorations to lights or heaters
  • Don't put decorations immediately above or around the fireplace
  • Keep decorations away from candles

Food safety

  • Keep cooked and raw foods separate on different shelves in the fridge
  • Keep raw meat and poultry, or defrosting food, at the bottom of your fridge to stop juices dripping into the salad tray
  • Make sure frozen turkeys or other poultry are properly thawed before cooking
  • Keep your fridge temperature between 0°c and 5°c
  • Refrigerate cooked food as soon as it is cool and within one and a half hours
  • Always follow the storage and cooking instructions provided
  • If you are stuffing the turkey, stuff the neck end only and calculate the stuffing weight into the overall cooking time
  • Poultry, sausages, and chopped and minced meat should be thoroughly cooked. Check there are no pink bits in the middle and that the juices run clear
  • Make sure leftovers are not reheated more than once and that they are piping hot when reheated
  • If you are thinking of eating out this festive season check the venue's food hygiene rating first

For more information see our Food safety pages or the Food Standards Agency (external link) website.

You can also visit www.food.gov.uk/letstalkturkey, where you can find the 'Let's talk Turkey guide', or follow @foodgov #LetsTalkTurkey on Twitter for tips and advice throughout the festive period.

Personal safety

  • Never drink and drive
  • If out in your car make sure you have packed warm clothes and supplies such as a thermos flask in case adverse weather sets in
  • If travelling in a group, nominate someone to do the driving or order a taxi or mini-cab in advance
  • Plan your journey in advance wherever possible. Visit our travel information page.
  • When travelling late at night, especially if you are alone, only ever use taxis or registered mini-cabs